High graduate unemployment rate worries ECOWAS

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The president of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, George Agyekum Nana Donkor has lamented that millions of graduates from universities in Nigeria and other West African countries, have no jobs.

This disclosure was made by the bank in its social media X page on Saturday, highlighting the concern during the ECOWAS Investment Forum 2024 which took place in Lomé, Togo between April 4 and 5, 2024.

He noted that such development constitutes a part of the economic problems facing the region but used the opportunity to call for urgent solutions by relevant stakeholders.

The president assert that West African governments must strengthen by investing resources to boost future economy, explore agriculture and do away from unnecessary borrowing at the maiden 2024 edition of the EIF tagged, “Transforming ECOWAS Communities in a Challenging Environment.”

Donkor said,“Our universities churn out millions of students every year, but there’s no job for them.

“There is a need to de-emphasize sovereign borrowing. We must pay attention to smart private sector borrowing. Infrastructure bonds are necessary – matching revenue with the borrowing cost.

“Agricultural technologies are critical for food security. There is the need to create markets for agricultural trade.

“Development of storage facilities to store excesses produced to stabilize prices during the off-season.

“There is the need to develop financial instruments. Invest resources including resources that will drive the future economy, placing us in a position to negotiate from a position of strength.”

Donkor explained that one of the main areas in which the Bank would help Member States to tackle regional issues is agriculture technology.

He recommends public private partnerships to tackle infrastructure deficits.

This is the inaugural edition of ECOWAS Investment Forum by the bank aimed at bringing development partners and stakeholders to brainstorm on investment opportunities across key sectors of ECOWAS Member States.

Education, health care, infrastructure, environmental sustainability and global market access in ECOWAS were the main topics of discussion within this Forum.

The Bank’s vision is to spearhead wealth creation, economic growth,and industrialisation, to enhance the people in the region.

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