• 1,000 fresh beneficiaries on line

BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a grant of $5 million to support Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme in scaling up its outreach and impact to 1,000 select youth entrepreneurs across the African continent. 

The grant, which is more than N1.5 billion, followed the signing of a letter of intent between the bank and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, (TEF) during the launch of its Entrepreneurship Programme in March 2019.

With AfDB Board’s endorsement in their kitty, the deal will ginger future collaboration focused on strengthening Small and Medium-sized enterprises as well as talent and skills development for African youth

Besides supporting 3,050 young entrepreneurs across 54 African countries, AfDB’s involvement will enable an additional 1,000 entrepreneurs to benefit from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme that provides opportunities to stem growing unemployment rate as well as inequality confronting Africa’s youngest citizens.

The continent’s foremost financial institution said the programme aligns with its 10-year Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy launched in 2016, to support the creation of 25 million decent jobs across the continent.

According to a statement by AfDB, the Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy is also expected to equip 50 million young Africans with employable skills that enable them to access economic opportunities and realize their full economic potential across the continent.

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is expected to deliver business training, mentoring, access to networks, markets and capital for business development to selected youth-led start-ups for them to grow and create jobs.

The Statement said TEF programme has a strong alignment with its youth entrepreneurship and innovation multi-donor trust fund, which seeks to build the African youth entrepreneurship ecosystem by scaling up innovative youth-led start-ups; expanding youth market opportunities; and improving youth access to funding.

Other development partners involved in supporting the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme are Agence Française de Dévelopement, the German Agency for International Cooperation, the United Nations Development Programme and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

In addition, these partners are expected to provide more business opportunities to youth entrepreneurs across the continent.

Collaborating with the governments of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, the AfDB established the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund in year 2017 to support the African entrepreneurship ecosystem directly and indirectly by leveraging on its instruments.

On the whole, these interventions aim at equipping Africa’s youth with the right tools to initiate start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) – With agency reports

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