The Mastercard Foundation has announced that it has signed ‘Young Africa Works’ (YAW) agreement with Nigeria to create economic opportunities for ten million youths.

Development Diaries reports that the signing ceremony was held at Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in Abuja.

Nigeria’s unemployment rate, as at 2020 second quarter, stood at 27.1 percent, up from the 23.1 percent recorded in 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Unemployment among young people aged between 15 and 34 stood at 34.9 percent, while 28.7 percent were underemployed.

Also, available statistics shows that about 87 million Nigerians, or half the population, live on less than US$1.90 per day.

The YAW project, which seeks to empower 70 percent of women out of the ten million people, is the foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people across Africa, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

Country Head for the Mastercard Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson, explained that the signing of the agreement has further strengthened the foundation’s commitment to providing millions of young Nigerians with work opportunities that will meet their aspirations and full potential.

According to her, the initiative currently focuses on three key economic sectors – agriculture, creative industries, and the digital economy – with additional sectors being considered to further increase opportunities for youths.

The firm said it was working with the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan African University; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA); Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Ltd; Jobberman; and Babban Gona, to realise its goals.

‘We have formed partnerships with several organisations and are working together to leverage each other’s strengths’, Lawanson added.

‘Through our focus areas of agriculture, creative, and digital economies, we have aligned with the federal government’s national development plan to ensure we reduce unemployment in the country and unlock the skills and creative abilities of our youths, particularly young women’.

The YAW initiative is also present in Rwanda, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Uganda.

Photo source: Rhealyz Naija


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