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ADB’s $5b jobs scheme targets 25m African youths

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The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina of Nigeria

The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina of Nigeria

AMID growing unemployment in the continent, the African Development Bank (ADB) Group has launched a new strategy to create 25 million jobs for youths on the continent as well as equip an additional 50 million in the next decade.

Known as Jobs for Africa’s Youth Initiative, launched at this year’s annual meetings, it would support digital literacy, logical thinking and computational skills in secondary and primary schools as well as promote the creativity of young people across all sectors in Africa.

To accomplish this goal, the Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy 2016-2025 aims to increase inclusive employment and entrepreneurship, strengthen human capital, and create durable labour market linkages by making use of three strategic intervention areas: Integration, Innovation, and Investment, the bank’s management said in the strategy paper presented to the board.

AFDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, who revealed the plan at the opening session of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group in Lusaka, Zambia, said: “We will also support coding academies that will drive advanced computational skills for employment focusing on youths in universities and polytechnics.

“Through our Boost Africa Initiative, with our partners, the European Investment Bank, private equity funds will be established to help boost businesses of young people.

We plan to leverage $5 billion to support businesses of young African entrepreneurs. Our goal: create 25 million jobs for the youth, over a 10-year period, in agriculture, ICT and other sectors.”

The event was attended by African leaders led by Zambian President, Edgar Lungu, Chairman of the African Union, President Idriss Deby, and Nigerian Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

“With Africa spending $35 billion per year on food imports, which will rise to $110 billion by 2020 – despite having 65 per cent of the world’s remaining arable land – Africa cannot have low ambitions. With the need to achieve the SDGs and meet its commitments to climate change under Conference of Parties (COP) 21, Africa cannot have low ambitions. With the need to rapidly diversify their economies and mobilise domestic resources, African countries need greater support more than ever,” Adesina added.


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