How smart young talents can grow Nigeria’s economy, by Bill Gates

The American, who has been in the country, made the submission in a wide-ranging conversation with CEO of Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, at the Pan-African Youth Forum 2023.

Gates reiterated that the voice of the Nigerian youth was critical to ensuring that resources of the country are shifted to investments in infrastructure, health and education.

Responding to a question from Tijani about his framework for determining what to focus on, the global philanthropist and technology leader spoke of identifying the huge divide between richer and developing countries, as well as limited resources going into healthcare as a key factor in what he decided to prioritise.

He also spoke about being able to use his unique skill sets in organising talented teams to work with people with expertise towards delivering impact.

The Co-Creation Hub Nigeria chief executive, in follow-up remarks, raised a point about the ability of entrepreneurs to deliver impact, while also being able to make revenue, to which Gates responded that he believed that if young people were able to apply their strengths, educate themselves and make contributions in the spaces they were passionate about, the path to impact would reveal itself.

The conversation also touched on impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on education, health, manufacturing and governance. The American provided some insights into his personal experience of AI and examples of how it could positively impact different sectors, including delivering efficiency in government services and processes.

He suggested that the big win for the continent would be in the application of AI, including adapting to languages and unique datasets in healthcare that catered for African realities.

Following the session with Mr. Gates, there was also a panel with Oluwatosin Olaseinde of Money Africa, Preston Ideh of Stears Insights and Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson of Health Tracka, three young Nigerian innovators building novel solutions in financial literacy, information and health care.

The discussion, also moderated by Dr. Tijani, focused on understanding the challenges they faced in their startup journey and recommendations on how to scale support for entrepreneurs like them.

The African Youth Innovation Forum was organised by Lagos Business School and Co-Creation Hub Nigeria as part of Gates’ visit to the country.


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