AfDB approves Sh5.3bn program for young entrepreneurs in Africa

Young innovative entrepreneurs across the continent are set to benefit from a Sh5.3 billion facility from African Development Bank (AfDB) under the ‘Boost Africa Investment Programme.’

The initiative seeks to invest in innovative businesses, mostly operated by youth aged between 18 and 35 years.

The programme is one of the first instruments under the Bank’s recently approved ‘Jobs for Youth Strategy’, which responds to the renaissance of such entrepreneurial-driven and home-grown business models.

The programme targets various sectors such as energy, telecommunication, agribusiness, industry, privately-delivered social services, health and education, which have the potential to grow and contribute significantly to inclusive growth and job creation.

“The Boost Africa Initiative thus aims to spur the entrepreneurial power of the African youth to create innovative and compelling businesses with the capacity to compete regionally and globally, to attract domestic and foreign direct investments, to create new and quality jobs, and contribute to economic growth,” said Stefan Nalletamby, Director of the Financial Sector Development Department at the AfDB.

“Innovative start-ups need not only financing, but also capacity-building support and adequate networks and business connections which will be offered through the broader Boost Africa Initiative, which also has a Technical Assistance and a Lab component,” said Nalletamby.

Boost Africa is expected to be a partnership with various investors and donors where the contributions by the AfDB and others will leverage further investments into this sector, up to a total amount of €1 billion (Sh107.8 billion).

The Boost Africa Initiative forms part of the AfDB’s High 5 priorities, in particular “Improving the quality of life for the people of Africa” and the related Jobs for Youth in Africa Initiative.

 

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