AfDBank, Prince’s Trust to accelerate wealth-creating youth programmes
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, and the CEO of the Prince’s Trust International (PTI), Will Straw, are exploring strategic partnerships to scale up youth employment, human capital, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Consequently, the two have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that commits both institutions to work together to identify and develop partnership opportunities to incorporate employability skills for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) projects, funded by the bank in countries of common interest.
The Prince’s Trust will participate in the preparation, design, implementation and monitoring of TVET and skills development projects.
Unemployment in Africa
With 1.4 billion people, Africa has the world’s largest proportion of unemployed and under-employed youth. More than 60 per cent of the continent’s population is under the age of 30.
Dr Adesina at a meeting in London where the MoU was signed described youth unemployment as a precursor to poverty which required a strategic multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach.
He said, “Too often, way too much lip service is given to youth programmes. That must change. Together, we have an opportunity to create youth wealth and eradicate poverty which is not a tradable commodity.”
Mr Straw provided an overview of the Trust’s programmes globally and highlighted Ghana and Nigeria, where capacity building and entrepreneurial skills were having an impact on the youth.
He said the Prince’s Trust International was committed to upscaling existing youth-based initiatives and co-hosting a youth-focused investment summit in 2024 in the UK, in conjunction with the African Development Bank.
Since 2015, the Prince’s Trust International, founded by HM King Charles (then the Prince of Wales), to tackle the global crisis of youth unemployment has supported more than 75,000 people. This follows 40 years of experience in the UK.
The African Development Bank has launched Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks to provide financial and technical support businesses of young people. Liberia was the first to launch the Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank with an initial funding of $16 million approved by the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors. This is in addition to the Bank’s ENABLE youth programme and several other youth-based programmes.
The Prince’s Trust International runs 13 programmes in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, which are designed to match the skills and expectations of young people with existing employment and enterprise opportunities.