U.S. Consul GeneralClaire Pierangeloon Tuesday reiterated the importance of Nigeria’s entrepreneurs to the continued growth of economies in the West African sub-region and the prosperity of the continent.
Speaking at a one-day capacity-building seminar for the first cohort of U.S. sponsoredTony Elumelu Foundation alumni,Ms. Pierangelo noted that population trends in Africa’s largest economy will not only mean that Nigeria could become the world’s third most populous country by 2050, but events in the country could have wide-ranging global repercussions going forward.
“If Nigeria is successful, its extremely young population will represent a tremendous source of productive labour and an extremely attractive market for a variety of products and services. Its success will be Africa’s success and the world will also benefit from the creativity and resourcefulness of its people,” Pierangelo observed.
The Chief Executive Officer of theTony Elumelu Foundation,Ms. Ifeanyinwa Ugochukwu, who expressed the organization’s appreciation for the partnership with the U.S. Consulate General, highlighted the importance of strategic alliances for the country’s sustained economic development.
“It is clear that development aid does not solve economic problems, handouts never work in the long-term and no developed country does government shoulder economic burdens alone. On the other hand, partnerships such as this support the job-creating, solution-driven mentality which Nigeria needs to lift itself,”she pointed out.
The seminar also included a presentation on “Globalization and Nigeria” byJohn Doggett, a Senior Lecturer at theMcCombs School of Business, theUniversity of Texasat Austin. It concluded with a panel discussion on the “Key to Success” featuringOlori Anita Ololade Odozi, fashion entrepreneur;Adebola Williams, Co-Founder of Red Media Africa;AfricanFarmer Mogaji, CEO of AfricanFarmer; andOmowale Ogunrinde, CEO of Field of Skills and Dreams.
The United States Government in October 2019 announced its partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to promote entrepreneurship initiatives in Nigeria, through a public diplomacy grant of $105,000 or approximately N37.8 million.