As one of the outcomes of the French President’s visit to Lagos, Nigeria, last week, Emmanuel Macron made an endorsement as to an initiative which will develop entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa, with a UNGN5 Bn offering to start off the scheme. The initiative is christened Digital Africa Initiative (DAI), and it is tailored to create a pool of entrepreneurial knowledge and business information sharing. The scheme will as well magnet the attraction of French, African and European investors to the narrative of the emerging African entrepreneurs.
French President Emmanuel Macron made this pledge in Lagos during an interactive session with the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) alumni and other entrepreneurs from Africa. He informed that the fund would be extended via the French Development Agency.
He remarked that “The best way to success is a strong private sector entrepreneur, as it is the sole medium through which inclusive growth can be ensured. It will also help raise a middle-class that will support productivity-related activities”.
President Macron also facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between TEF and the country, a pact which will guarantee 700 percent of new loans to the alumni of TEF, as a way of giving a lending hand to Africa’s emerging entrepreneurs.
President Macron also commented on migration and cross-border trade between Europe and Africa, insisting that more Africans should use the means to develop the continent. “Migration has come to stay,” he said, “It cannot be curtailed by building walls.” This is a metaphoric allusion to Donald Trump’s ongoing construction of a border wall that will put a stop to the influx of immigrants into the United States.
He reiterated that “Migration has brought about a lot of tension in Europe over the last few years when people from India and the Middle East fled by the thousand to European countries. But now we are in the experience of a new migration wave between Europe and Africa. For decades, it has been occurring, and we did integrate. But what I don’t like is the idea of people taking the Mediterranean, the deserts, Libya and Morocco because they are looking for greener pastures”.
Macron also discouraged the rearing of multiple children without finance and spoke on other pressing issues affecting Africa and the globe at large.