AFD endorses $16m for Youth Entrepreneurship Bank

African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional lending arm of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has approved $16 million for the innovation of a Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank (YEIB) in Liberia.

A statement issued on the AfDB website said the fund was approved to unleash the business potential of young Liberians.

According to the AfDB Group Country Manager for Liberia, Benedict Kanu, approximately $16 million has been allocated to finance this strategic initiative.

Kanu said the initiative was meant to target youth-led micro, small, and medium enterprises in Liberia’s burgeoning agribusiness and allied sectors.

“The YEIB is anticipated to support over 30,000 youth-led businesses during the next 17 years. “The YEIB will be the initial catalyst for developing a financial ecosystem for youth entrepreneurship in Liberia, which is currently non-existent.

“By creating 120,000 direct and indirect jobs and unlocking approximately $500 million in additional lending, it can lay the groundwork for future, potentially more profitable investments.

“The YEIB is a long-term investment with a significant impact on job creation and financial inclusion,” he said.

According to Kanu, Liberia’s youthful population, accounting for over 60 percent of its citizens, is experiencing high unemployment meaning many young people do not get the opportunities they deserve.

“With about 45 percent of its youths not involved in employment, education, or training, Liberia is facing daunting youth employment challenges.

“With notable importance for social cohesion, fragility, and resilience,” Kanu added.

Edited by Damilola Adeleke

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