AFDB to boost entrepreneurship in Nigeria, plans to empower 75m youths in 10 yrs
THE AFRI CAN DEVELOP MENT BANK (AfDB), through its Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA) strategy to create 25 million jobs and empower 50 million youths with demand-driven skills within 10 years (2016–2025) across Africa, has secured the collaboration of key Nigerian sector players including the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Siemens, GE, MasterCard Foundation, World Bank, and Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).
To this end, the AfDB, in conjunction with the National Universities CommisAS sion (NUC), Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Siemens, GE, MasterCard Foundation, World Bank, and Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) held a breakfast session at the ongoing 24th Nigerian Economic Summit themed, “Education to Employment – Mind the Gap.”
The breakfast session specifically deliberated on the need to revamp the curriculum in tertiary institutions, the need to equip potential graduates and the need to upskill graduates to meet current employment standards.
The discussions ended with an MoU–signing ceremony between the NESG and NUC to formalize private sector collaboration to revamp employability and entreprether skills education, STEM and Engineering.
Chris Ngige, the Nigerian minister of labour and employment in his remarks at the session highlighted the urgent need for collaboration to tackle the youth unemployment crisis in Nigeria.
“Insecurity challenges are symptoms of the dire state of unemployment and frustration of the Nigerian youth.
The urgency to support job creation in Nigeria must be accompanied with the right synergies, as these problems cannot be solved in silos. The Ministry has committed to working with partners across the private, social and public sectors to create jobs for young Nigerians,” Ngige said.
The unemployment rate in Nigeria stands at 18.8 percent. Among the youth (15-35 years), the figure is significantly higher as combined unemployment and underemployment rate gross 22.64 million individuals, translating to 52.65 percent of the entire youth labour force i.e. people who are willing and able to work.
The rate of unemployment tends to be higher for people that have post-secondary school education - 31.8 percent unemployment rate and 50 percent combined unemployment and underemployment in Q3 2017. This is because graduates tend to prefer fewer in supply whitecollar jobs rather than often rural, seasonal and low skilled-lower paying blueThe collar jobs that are more in supply.
According to Ebrima Faal, the AFDB’s senior country director-Nigeria the bank understands that partnerships and collaborations are the bedrock of success and the drivers of sustainable impact.
“Partnerships within and outside the private sector are already beginning to address some of the challenges within the unemployment space.
We will continue to work to facilitate the partnerships necessary to deepen this impact through our Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA) initiative as we collaborate to solve the youth unemployment problem in Africa,” Faal said.
Speaking on behalf of NESG’s Laoye Jaiyeola, the chief executive officer, said, “the NESG has committed to pool all actors together under a collaborative model, to ensure that interventions are holistic and are of scale to address our challenges.
signing of the MoU between the NESG and the NUC – the first of its kind in Nigeria signals a new way forward, one that entails collaboration and action on the skills development agenda,” he said.
JFYA initiative was launched at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in May 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia with the aim of supporting African countries in scaling up responses to the youth unemployment and underemployment crisis.
The strategy responds to the transformational agenda laid out in the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022), aligned with its High-5 priorities.
It is also in line with the vision of the Bank’s Human Capital Strategy (2014-2018) to ‘harness the potential of 1 billion Africans by building skills and promoting technologies to provide better jobs, ensure equal opportunities and increase workforce competitiveness.