The elements of digitalisation and climatic change remain critical focal points if the African continent is to develop significantly and fully maximise its capacity in the next few years.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who said this noted that although digitalisation had contributed significantly to the economic fortunes of Nigeria and the African economy, there was still room for more growth especially as digital technology offered the most effective way for Africa to fast-track development.
He was speaking at the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group Chairman’s Forum 2022, held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, where he was hosted to dinner by the bank’s Group Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu.
The UBA Group Chairman’s forum is an annual interactive and knowledge sharing session led by Tony O. Elumelu.
The forum brings together the group and the bank’s subsidiary board members as well as its executive management team from across Africa and globally, to further solidify the vision of the bank and generate ideas for the advancement of Africans and the African economy.
The Vice President who commended Elumelu and the UBA management for the auspicious event, also pointed out that climate change and how it was handled has a huge role to play on the continent in the coming years.
“There are two crucial issues bound to determine Africa’s growth trajectory in the next few decades – digitisation and how we handle climate change. While digital technology offers the most effective way for Africa to leapfrog African development, clean and renewable energy sources are the fastest-growing segment of energy today and will certainly be a key economic driver well into the future, and must be embraced,” Osinbajo emphasised.
While pointing out that energy demand in Nigeria and across Africa is set to rise to deliver the industrialisation, jobs and economy-wide progress the people deserve, the Vice President emphasised the need for collaboration to drive the common goal of empowerment.
In a similar vein, whilst welcoming the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emifiele, who was a special guest of the UBA Group Chairman during the bank’s forum, Elumelu noted that most of the policies of the governor had given opportunities for financial institutions to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the economies of Africa.
“Africa’s largest economy has raised successful private sector leaders and the CBN Governor through CACOVID, brought a forum for all of us to discuss together. At our interactive sessions, we discuss the development of Nigeria, talking about key areas like Healthcare, security, national economy from the perspective of economic development and growth. People who were on their own successfully have finally come together with a common goal. This was especially evident when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the private sector swung into action under the coalition of the team that the CBN Governor put together,” Mr Elumelu said.
In his own submission, Mr Emefiele, spoke on the role that banks and other financial institutions had to play in the economy, especially in a continent as endowed and vast as Africa.
Mr Emefiele commended the UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu, for his excellent work over the years and his various contributions towards the economic development of the country in all the critical areas he had ventured into, ranging from banking, oil and gas, tourism concerns.
Kweku Awotwi, Board Chairman of UBA Ghana thanked the Vice President and governor as well as all other dignitaries and board chairpersons from across Africa for making it to the forum, promising the insights from the meeting would help to further deepen the bank’s operations on the continent and beyond.