The African Development Bank has launched a new project that promises to create jobs and improve the livelihoods in three African countries. Called the Creating Sustainable Youth MSMEs Through Urban Farming (SYMUF), the project will support young farmers in Uganda, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The bank is also partnering with a number of centres in the selected countries, including Africa Projects Development Centre (APDC), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA-Bukavu), as well as the African Agribusiness Incubation Network in Uganda.
The SYMUF project has received $937 000 in grant funding from the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance, a multi-donor trust fund managed by the African Development Bank.
Using business incubators and financial instruments, SYMUF, which is part of the Bank’s Empowering Novel Agri-Business Led Employment (ENABLE) Youth Programme, will assist in converting start-up micro, small, and medium firms into bankable ventures. It will provide young people with technical and agribusiness skills, as well as market networks, climate-smart agricultural practices, and professional mentoring.
Lamin Barrow, the director general of the Nigeria country department of the African Development Bank, emphasised the bank’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship in a speech that was read for him during the inauguration in Abuja.
“The Bank is committed to creating jobs and providing incomes for African youth, who are attracted to urban agriculture but do not get jobs, capital, or credit to operate their agribusinesses. This project will address unemployed youth and those in the early start-up stage who have not gained traction due to limited skills and financial resources,” Barrow said.
Barrow was represented by the Bank’s country operations manager for Nigeria, Orison Amu.
“Working together with all the partners, we are committed to making the SYMUF Project one of the best projects sponsored by the African Development Bank,” Alex Ariho, CEO of the African Agribusiness Incubation Network in Uganda, added.
According to the African Development Bank’s coordinator for the ENABLE Youth Programme Edson Mpyisi, the bank has invested over $400 million in 15 African countries under the programme. “This programme is designed to empower youth at each stage of the agribusiness value chain by harnessing new skills, technologies and financing approaches.”
This article was originally written and published by FoodForAfrika.com. To read the full article, click here.
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