Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), stated to the press on Sunday, June 25th, 2023, that his organization is preparing to open an entrepreneurship investment bank in Nigeria. The foundation of such a bank, according to the AfDB president, is consistent with President Bola Tinubu’s aspirations and vision for Nigeria’s youth.
Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina spoke after paying President Tinubu a courtesy call at the recently finished new global financial accord summit in France’s Palais Brongniart. He praised the president’s intentions and vision for Nigeria and offered to assist the government in attaining its goals.
In his words:
“I discussed with his excellency, the President a couple of things. First of course is agriculture; to see what we can do to support the government concerning the president’s vision in agriculture.”
“We discussed the special agro-industrial processing zone for which we already have about $520 million for Nigeria and how we are going to make sure that the project gets accelerated to give quick wins to the president. We also talked about the power sector and how we will support his effort and vision.”
Mr. Adesina Continued:
”The president wants to make sure there is an improvement in the access to electricity in Nigeria, and therefore, he talked to us about how we can support him and we assured him that we will support significantly in the power sector in Nigeria.”
Adesina also complimented President Bola Tinubu for his desire to modernize Nigeria’s manufacturing industry.
“I discussed with the president also about the industrial sector in Nigeria. I was impressed with his vision in terms of trying to grow the industrial sector in Nigeria and also having an export-orientated industrial manufacturing stance, which is very important for growing the forex in Nigeria.”
“We also discussed the youth. I have heard him speak quite a lot about young people — his heart for young people and what he wants to support them.”
“He asked for our support regarding what we can do about that and I explained to the president that we will support him with the establishment of a youth entrepreneurship investment bank in Nigeria.”
“This is going to be new financial institutions that will support the access to financing for the business of young people. He had the desire to grow the wealth for young people which is very good.”
Benefits Of The AfDB Youth Entrepreneurship Banks in Nigeria
The benefits of the banks being established in Nigeria are listed below:
- It will increase youth employment
- Increase in access to finance and business survival of youth and women-led start-ups and micro, small, and medium enterprises;
- Creating enabling environments for micro, small, and medium enterprise development and youth employment;
- It will improve the design of Bank projects that have enhanced potential for youth employment.
The AfDB youth entrepreneurship bank is the brainchild of the multi-donor trust fund for young entrepreneurship and innovation.
The Multi-Donor Trust Fund For Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation
It was founded in 2017 with the primary purpose of empowering adolescents via entrepreneurship and employment development. The fund aims to boost Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystems by giving micro, small, and medium-sized entrepreneurs with the skills, tools, and supporting settings they need to run bankable businesses. By doing so, the Trust Fund contributes to the African Development Bank’s Highi 5 strategic programs.
The Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation will contribute to the success of the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy. The project aims to create 25 million new jobs and provide 50 million young people with the skills they need to succeed as entrepreneurs by 2025. The Fund is administered by the Bank’s Human Capital, Youth, and Skills Development Department, which brings together partners and donors to build on the Bank’s earlier achievements in boosting youth employment across the continent. The initial gifts were made in 2017 by Norway and Denmark. After welcome the governments of Sweden, the Netherlands, and Italy as new donors in 2018, the Fund currently has about $40 million. The Fund’s first investment horizon is from 2017 to 2025.