New Partnership for Africa Development says it will invest €38m in youth empowerment in five African countries in three years.
The Director NEPAD Continental, Estherine Fotabong, disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday in Abuja.
She said that the project would focus on skill acquisition for the youths of the benefitting countries namely Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria, Cameroon and South Africa.
She said that Nigeria would be used as the pilot country for the programme, adding that 40 percent of the youths in Africa were unemployed.
She said, “We are here to launch the skill acquisition programme in Nigeria and the country should be ready to take over its leading role in Africa.
“Over 40 percent of our youths are unemployed and we need to employ them because the inability to engage them will result to them flying abroad when they should be employers of labour.
“The whole exercise will gulp €38m for over a period of three years.”
Fotabong noted that the project would also include giving support to women for business, improving girl child education and support scholarship for students in rural areas.
She said that NEPAD Nigeria would collaborate with relevant Ministries Department and Agencies to actualize their goals.
She expressed her gratitude to the Nigerian government for supporting NEPAD in the country.
In his response, Mr Babachir Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of The Federation, thanked the delegates from NEPAD for considering Nigeria as the pilot country.
He stated that the project was timely as youth empowerment was in line with change mantra of the present administration.
Lawal emphasised that the project should focus on agriculture as that would also boost the economy of the country.
He assured NEPAD that all monies disbursed would be judiciously used for its purpose.
“I want to stress that focus should be placed on agriculture in the skill acquisition for Nigerian youths and value addition for agricultural products.
“I assure you that all monies disbursed for the project will be judiciously utilised as there is zero tolerance for corruption in this administration’’, he said.