The African Development Bank (AfDB) has received a significant boost to its Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund with a contribution of 5.5 million Euros from the Italian Government.
The announcement was made during the Fund’s mid-year Oversight Committee Meeting held virtually on June 26.
Led by Marco Rusconi, the Deputy Central Director for Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic, the Italian delegation reaffirmed their commitment to supporting youth entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa.
The Italian Government believes that fostering innovation and creating sustainable job opportunities, particularly for young people and women, is essential for inclusive and resilient economic growth on the continent.
AfDB’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund has already made significant strides in addressing the challenges of youth unemployment and access to quality jobs in Africa.
With an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent, African youth have been disproportionately affected. By focusing on youth-led start-ups and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, the Trust Fund aims to create sustainable job opportunities and drive innovation.
The Fund has facilitated the creation of over 68,500 direct jobs for African youth and improved access to financing for more than 6,600 enterprises across the continent.
Additionally, it has empowered over 12,000 young entrepreneurs, who have transformed their business plans and made valuable contributions to economic growth.
Dr. Beth Dunford, the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, expressed gratitude to the Italian Government for their generous contribution, emphasizing the shared mission to nurture African youth and promote entrepreneurship and innovation.
The Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund was established by the AfDB in 2017 to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and the creation of sustainable jobs for the youth in Africa.
This fund provides grants to support the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy, which aims to create 25 million jobs and equip 50 million young people with employable and entrepreneurial skills by 2025.