Shamiso Dzingire Bulawayo Bureau
The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) says it will avail over $1,5 billion annually over the next 10 years to support young agriculture entrepreneurs across the continent.
In a statement released to commemorate International Youth Day on Sunday, AfDB said the financial support was part of efforts to make agriculture more attractive to young people.
Since 2016, the bank has invested over $800 million in supporting young entrepreneurs in agriculture in more than 15 countries.
“These plans reflect the bank’s bullish view of the continent’s capacity to resolve its issues,” said AfDB.
The bank also reiterated its commitment to an inclusive and youth-focused economic transformation agenda for Africa.
“Attracting capital to programmes and projects will always be equally as important as galvanising Africa’s youth for positive engagement and value contributions to their societies.
“Africa’s youth therefore remain at the heart of the bank’s development financing efforts,” it said.
As a way of accelerating Africa’s industrialisation, AfDB said it was also promoting special economic zones across the continent to attract investments for industrialisation.
According to the regional financier, the zones will need “hordes of young workers to thrive.”
In June, AfDB president Dr Akinwunmi Adesina challenged the continent to stop being a poverty museum.
“Africa must stop being a museum of poverty. It’s people are determined to reverse this trend.
“The future of young Africans is not in Europe, their destiny is not to end their lives in the Mediterranean Sea,” he said.
The banking institution also announced that it will in November launch the Africa Investment Forum.
The forum, which is a marketplace for investors interested in Africa, was scheduled for November 7 to 8 in Johannesburg, South Africa showcasing bankable projects, attracting financing and providing platforms for investing across multiple countries.
Over the years, AfDB has financed projects meant to increase youth participation in economic transformation. Dam,” she said.