African Development Bank chief announces set up of youth investment banks

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is setting up youth entrepreneurship investment banks that will help grow youth-based wealth for Africa’s young population, the bank’s president Akinwumi Adesina announced Tuesday.

The banks, to be rolled out by the end of this month, will act as new financial institutions that create ecosystems of support around businesses of young people, by financing their businesses in a lifecycle model from technical assistance, to debt and equity financing, Adesina said, while speaking at the 2022 Commonwealth Business Forum in Rwanda’s capital city Kigali.

“For Africa and all Commonwealth countries, the real issue is we have to create youth-based wealth. To be able to support young people, we have to prioritize them in our financing. We are creating Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks that will support the business of young people,” said Adesina.

“I don’t believe that the future of African youth lies in Europe… We must create quality, decent jobs for young people. The common future must be the future of the youth so we have to make sure we build the Commonwealth for the youth,” he added.

He stressed the need for youth access to quality education and skills training for jobs of the future. Adesina also advised young people to embrace agriculture.

The Commonwealth Business Forum drew about 1,500 delegates from Commonwealth member states governments.

The three-day forum is to address the CHOGM theme – ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’, with a focus on “A Global Reset,” dealing with the impact of the pandemic and the Commonwealth’s role in rebuilding and reinvigorating the global economy.

The forum is one of a series of events taking place on the second day of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which runs from June 20 to 25.

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