President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, mapped out a strategy for Africa to achieve full industrialisation by the year 2030, the primary priority being a restructured education system.
Delivering his National Statement in Niamey, Niger Republic, at the African Union (AU) Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification in Africa, President Buhari told African leaders to tailor their educational system and academic curricular towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
According to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President emphasised that STEM is the ”short way” to produce the next generation of managers of an industrialised Africa not dependent on expatriates.
The President urged leaders in the continent to solve the problem of generating cheap and clean energy, saying ”it is no secret that we cannot industrialise the continent, if we do not solve the problem of generating cheap and clean energy.
”Your Excellencies, energy generation and distribution is an enabler for industrialisation. Africa is richly endowed with multiple sources of energy generation. We are richly endowed with Hydro-Carbons, Coal, Natural Gas, Solar Energy, and Hydro- Energy.
”Yet we are lacking in the capacity to produce clean and cheap electricity to power our production, manufacturing sectors.
”I hope this Summit will afford us the opportunity to explore the possibilities of collaboration in pooling resources on a continental level to address the vexing problem of Energy generation and distribution on the continent.
”I say this because, it is no secret that we cannot industrialise the continent, if we do not solve the problem of generating cheap and clean energy.
”Your Excellencies, the African continent is blessed with a large youth population that can address our labour shortages. Therefore, we should tap this human resource potential that abound in the continent by providing our youths with qualitative and fit-for-purpose education that recognizes the labour market demands.
”In this regard, we must rejig our educational system and academic curricula to gravitate towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This is the short way we can produce the next generation of managers for the industrial complex we envisage, one that will not be dependent on expatriates,” the President said.
President Buhari also told the AU summit that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will give impetus to the continent’s quest for an industrial revolution.