The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

We Say Kudos To African Development Bank

THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT Bank (AfDB) has given the green light for the creation of a Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank (YEIB) in West African Countries, which is an exciting move to unleash the business potential of young Liberians.  

APPROXIMATELY US$16 MILLION has been allocated to finance this strategic initiative, which targets youth led micro, small, and medium enterprises in Liberia’s burgeoning agribusiness and allied sectors.

THE BANK SAID it anticipates supporting over 30,000 youth led businesses over the next 17 years. The YEIB will be the initial catalyst for developing a financial ecosystem for youth entrepreneurship in Liberia, which is currently non-existent.

“BY CREATING 120, 000 direct and indirect jobs and unlocking approximately US$500 million in additional lending, it could lay the groundwork for future, potentially more profitable investments. The YEIB is a long-term investment with a significant impact on job creation and financial inclusion,” AfDB Group Country Manager for Liberia, Benedict Kanu, said.

LIBERIA’S YOUTHFUL POPULATION, accounting for over 60 percent of its population, is experiencing high unemployment, meaning many young people do not get the opportunities they deserve.

 “WITH ABOUT 45 percent of its youth not involved in employment, education, or training, Liberia is facing daunting youth employment challenges, with notable implications for social cohesion, fragility, and resilience,” Kanu added.

WE HAIL THIS initiative being undertaken by the bank because a primary cause of idleness here has been the absence of adequate financial literacy, education, and entrepreneurial skills.

WE STRONGLY BELIEVE that micro, small, and medium enterprises are vital contributors to Liberia’s economic growth. However, these ventures are particularly hard hit by financial struggles, with up to 90 percent failing within the first year of operation.

THE YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP and Investment Bank project will help mitigate these issues by providing financial and non-financial services for young entrepreneurs, ensuring inclusion, reducing vulnerabilities, and preparing for long-term sustainability.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF a YEIB in Liberia will enhance institutional stewardship and oversight of the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem, thus helping to drive economic growth and development.

WE CONSIDER THE bank project in our country a landmark, as fostering youth entrepreneurship is at the heart of every country globally because those are the next generation of people that should be prepared to take over when those serving now shall have left.

OUR COUNTRY PRESENTS numerous opportunities for investment, especially in the agriculture sector, which engages about 70 percent of the population. Furthermore, sectors like Information Technology, renewable energy, and light industrial manufacturing offer promising avenues for investment.

THIS IS WHY the implementation of the YEIB project here will be carried out in close collaboration with a range of key stakeholders, including the government, commercial banks, and micro, small, and medium enterprises. AGAIN, WE HAIL the AfDB and hope for sustainability.

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