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Youth unemployment, poverty driving insecurity in Africa – AfDB President

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has identified youth unemployment and poverty as the factors driving insecurity and migration on the continent.

In a statement issued by the bank on Friday, Adesina aaid this at a Diplomatic Luncheon he hosted for Ambassadors in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

He said youth unemployment and poverty are among the factors that drive insecurity as well as migration.

“The AfDB is tackling this issue through its Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy. I do not believe that the future of Africa’s youth lies in Europe, USA, Latin America, Asia, or anywhere else in the world.

“Their future must lie in an Africa that is growing well, with inclusive growth, and able to deliver quality jobs and livelihoods for its youth,” Adesina said.

According to him, Africa’s demographic asset, with 477 million youths under the age of 35, should not become a global externality.

He said that the aim of the bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy was to create 25 million jobs and to provide skills for 50 million young people.

“I am delighted that the Independent Development Evaluation Department of AfDB found that the bank’s work has created 12 million jobs already, three million directly and nine million indirectly.

“The bank is implementing several initiatives to expand economic opportunities and skills enhancement for the youths. This includes Technical and Vocational Training, Computer Coding for Employment, as well as Enable Youth programme in agriculture to develop entrepreneurs in food and agriculture,” he said.

Dr Adesina said that AfDB’s Enable Youth programme, with financing of $490 million, had already developed 41,000 youth entrepreneurs in agriculture and created over 63,000 direct jobs.

He said: “our coding for employment programme now operates in four countries and is establishing 130 coding centres of excellence across the continent to expand digital skills for the youth.

“Our Affirmative Finance Action for Women, with the goal of mobilising five billion dollars for women businesses, is showing huge success. By the end of last year, $1.5 billion in loans had been approved to women entrepreneurs.”

According to him, one key area of the bank’s work is to improve the lives and livelihoods of the people of Africa.

He said to address the health infrastructure deficits on the continent, the Board of Directors of the AfDB also approved the bank’s strategy for quality health infrastructure.

He said the bank would provide three billion dollars to finance health infrastructure on the continent over the next 10 years.

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