United Bank for Africa (UBA) chairman and founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), yesterday, joined other global leaders to launch the US growth strategy for Palestine and the Middle East.
This is the first step in the long journey towards establishing an enduring future for the Middle East region, the West Bank, Gaza, and beyond, the growth strategy was launched at the Peace to Prosperity Workshop in Bahrain, organised by the Presidency of the United States of America in partnership with the host government, the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Elumelu spoke on the opening plenary alongside Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF); and HE Mohammed Al-Sheikh, Minister of State & Member of the Council of Ministers, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to share practical recommendations to unlock future economic prosperity for the Palestinian people.
The directions were based on what is done at Tony Elumelu Foundation as a replicable model for the economic empowerment of young men and women from the West Bank and Gaza.
Tony Elumelu stressed the urgency and importance of supporting and empowering young Palestinians to ignite the entrepreneurial ecosystem and strengthen the Palestinian economy.
He said, “I come from Africa; and the reality is that we do have a lot of similarities with the Palestinian people; especially in the area of demographic makeup. With over 60 percent of its nearly five million-strong population under 30, the young people of Palestine need jobs. Without jobs, there will be no economic hope. Big corporations and government alone cannot supply the jobs demanded by Palestine’s demographic pressures. We need SMEs and startups to address joblessness in the region, create jobs and opportunities in local communities for millions of our Palestinian young brothers and sisters to become employed, meaningfully engaged, and full of economic hope, which in turn leads them away from extremism.”