AfDB, Microsoft Partner To Support Young Entrepreneurs
The African Development Bank says it has strengthened partnership with Microsoft to scale technical and financial support for young entrepreneurs.
According to a statement, the partnership with the African Development Bank to support Africa’s youth entrepreneurs was part of the bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks (YEIB) initiative.
Through its African Transformation Office, Microsoft would work with the bank to develop youth entrepreneurship ecosystems, creating jobs and dramatically scaling impact in Africa through digital inclusion, the statement said.
With Africa’s young population expected to double in size by 2050 to 830 million, youth employment is likely to be on the rise, according to the statement.
The noted that youth entrepreneurship would go a long way to solving the employment challenge in Africa, but lack of investment, affordable access to finance and quality business development services still presented significant hurdles.
“We believe much can be done to help foster youth entrepreneurship by collaborating with the African Development Bank, driving greater economic inclusion for this key segment of the population, and ultimately building a more prosperous society,” said the General Manager of Microsoft Africa Regional Cluster, Wael Elkabbany.
“Already we’ve seen considerable success partnering together on initiatives such as Coding for Employment, which aims to equip millions of African youth with employable skills, ultimately creating broadscale employment.”
The African Development Bank Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Solomon Quaynor, described the partnership as an important development in the journey towards harnessing Africa’s demographic dividend and facilitating the creation of millions of jobs for young Africans by 2025.
He said, “The initiative places much-needed focus on youth entrepreneurship, which is key to achieving our ambitious employment targets.”
According to the statement, the partnership sought to support the establishment of national-level institutions through a public-private collaboration model to scale technical and financial support for youth entrepreneurs and build their capacity.