Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the President, African Development Bank, says any nation that does not respect and uphold the rule of law can never develop.
The AfDB president said this in a lecture he delivered at the 51st Annual Accountants Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, any country that does not respect the rule of law will only descend into chaos.
The president said that there was a direct and strong correlation between the rule of law and investments.
Adesina asked: “Think of it: who will want to invest in a place where there is no rule of law, respect for individual rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of association?
“Who will want to invest in a place where there is no protection of property, copyrights and patents and rights to legally acquire and dispose of assets?”
According to him, Gross Domestic Product does not just grow, it grows because of economic activities and economic activities thrive where there is a rule of law.
Adesina also stressed the need for African leaders to invest in the youth and use them as a potent force for national development.
He said: “Forgotten, undervalued and underused, a lot of youth today have a high level of distrust for governments, that we must change.
“Just think of the numbers and implications.
“Today, about 60 per cent of Africa’s 1.2 billion people are under the age of 25.
“We must prioritise the youth because what we do with and to our youth will determine our future.
“We hold our positions in trust for the present and future generation.”
According to him, Nigeria has a huge youth asset, but they will simply remain illiquid until their potential is fully unlocked.
The African bank president said: “Therefore, we must invest in our youth,” adding: “We must gain their trust and place our trust in them by making them the best assets of the nation.”
He said that it was to this end that the bank was exploring with countries, including Nigeria, the establishment of “Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks” for young Africans.
Adesina said the bank would be operated by Africans and provide long-term financing that would help unleash the business entrepreneurship potential of Africa’s youth, adding: “We must see the future and build it from today.”