ADB fund pumps close to $2m into two Jobs for Youth in Africa initiatives

African tech entrepreneurs — as well as those in the agriculture and clothing sector — have been given a boost, with the announcement that the African Development Bank (ADB) has invested close to $2-million in two initiatives.

The development bank announced on Friday last week (21 September) that the investment will be made via the development bank’s Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA).

It will go to the development bank’s Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace initiative an ecommerce platform for fashion and textiles entrepreneurs and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab programmes (eLab) programme.

The two programmes form part of the ADB’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy — which invests in high-growth sectors with potential to promote youth and women’s empowerment — to create 25 million jobs over the next decade.

In a statement last week Friday, the ADB said FAPA — which is funded by Japanese and Australian governments along with the ADB — will invest $923 570 and $988 202 in the Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace and the eLab programmes, respectively.

The Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace and eLab programmes form the main components of the ADB’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy

Commenting in the same statement ADB’s director of women, gender and civil society Vanessa Moungar said FAPA’s support will help accelerate the Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace and eLab programmes which she said contribute to the creation of jobs for women and youth.

The ADB stated that the two initiatives align with FAPA’s vision to create an investment-friendly climate for small businesses on the continent. The bank added that programmes will also provide platforms for strengthening and promoting entrepreneurship that target women and youth-led enterprises.

FAPA’s latest support for the Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace initiative will enable the further development of the platform which is designed to increase and facilitate access to markets and finance.

In addition, the programme also aims to provide access to relevant information, mentorship and networking opportunities as well as develop the skills, competencies and qualifications of African designers and fashion entrepreneurs.

The ADB’s manager for public health, security and nutrition Babatunde Olumide Omilola said the eLab programme will provide young entrepreneurs with financing, technical assistance and broader ecosystem support.

He said the programme is aimed at businesses started by young people and intermediaries that support business development, focusing on the three sectors identified as priorities by the Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy — agriculture, information and communications technology and industry.



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