MasterCard Foundation to empower 30 million young Africans

Ms Reeta Roy, the President of MasterCard Foundation, a multinational firm, on Monday said the foundation targeted to empower 30 million young Africans economically.

Roy made this known when she visited the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu in his office in Abuja.

According to her, the foundation is meeting with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the private sector to understand their priority areas where they can collaborate to engage the youths.

“Nigeria has the capacity and we are meeting with government agencies to identify sectors of growth to the economy and we will align ourselves to see how we can engage the youth.

“We are interested in the area of digital economy and agriculture is also a critical sector where we can focus on because the issue of food security is crucial,’’ Roy said.

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She said in recent years the foundation had invested two billion dollars in the continent to support development.

The foundation focuses on improving the bad economic situation in developing countries through youths empowerment and provision of financial aid to people living in the rural areas.

Responding, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, said the Federal Government was committed to moving the country’s economy from depending on commodities to a knowledge-based economy.

He said in view this, the Federal Government was reviewing the existing applications of science and technology to optimise their impacts on the economy

“Nigeria is a country with a big population and the largest economy in Africa, so we must emphasise local production and in turn create jobs.

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“This can only be achieved by proper application of science and technology as there is need to move from commodity-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.

“This will guarantee increased production and ensure that we manufacture those things that we import as well as export things,’’ Onu said.

He said the country would ensure there were incentives that would encourage investors to produce those commodities that Nigerians consume in large quantities.

“By so doing we are fighting extreme poverty, creating jobs and ensuring peaceful environment for people to operate.

“This will also go a long way in controlling crime because any person who is meaningfully engaged will think twice before getting involved in crime,’’ the minister said.

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