Cote d'Ivoire: AfDB provides US$250m to support Nigeria's youth employment programme

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - Announcing its approval of Enable Youth Nigeria programme on Friday, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) said it would provide a US$ 250 million loan, to contribute to job creation, food security and nutrition, rural income generation and improved livelihoods for youths in the country's urban and rural areas.

The programme aims to create business opportunities and decent employment for young women and men along priority agricultural value chains of the various enterprises including aquaculture, crops farming, marketing and processing.

It comprises four components: Enabling environment for youth empowerment, which aims to create an enabling environment nationwide for decent employment of young unemployed graduates (Greenfields) and a proportion of those already engaged in agribusiness (Brownfield);  Entrepreneurship and agribusiness incubation, which will operate in a two-step manner in agribusiness incubation with youth first participating in a two-week agribusiness orientation training.

The other two components are: Business development and financing, which entails participating youth transiting from agribusiness interns to successful owners of agribusinesses or employees in going concerns; and lastly, Programme management and coordination, which entails the day-to-day management based on adequate results measurement framework.

According to the AfDB, the programme will be implemented in all the 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.

The targeted beneficiaries will be in two categories. The first are unemployed young Nigerian graduates from any field of study who have finished their National Youth Service Corp programme (Greenfield). The second are graduate youths who are already successfully engaged in agribusiness, but have no access to commercial loan to grow their businesses (Brownfields).

The Bank said that  mainstreaming of gender and environmental issues across the various components would ensure inclusiveness as the programme will target a 50:50 male and female participation across the Federation aged 18-35 years.

It explained that the number of beneficiaries of the programme would depend in large part upon the outcome of the agribusiness incubation placement and successful bankable proposals.

"In general, it is expected that all the youth that have successfully undergone the incubation programme and satisfy the relevant criteria will move to the next stage of accessing the loans to set up their agribusinesses or may find employment with the private sector and the rural development community.

"Most of the loans will be about US$50,000 maximum per business," the Bank said, noting that agricultural entrepreneurs can have individual or joint businesses and these must be duly registered by Corporate Affairs Commission.

The target is to reach 1,000 entrepreneurs per State who will establish enterprises, as individuals (about 2,000 for both green and brown fields) and as groups of 10 – 50 (creating about 5,500 businesses).

Ultimately, the businesses will generate about 185,000 additional jobs. Total direct jobs created by the programme would reach as much as 222,000.
-0- PANA AR 16Dec2016

16 december 2016 17:34:08

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