African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with the state secretariat for Economic Affairs of the Government of the Swiss Confederation (SECO) have signed two agreements to fund African initiatives with the view to reducing the current rate of unemployment.
The agreements were signed at the Sipopo Conference Centre in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Raymund Furrer, bank governor for Switzerland, signed on behalf of SECO while Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala, AfDB’s vice president for finance signed on behalf of the bank.
The AfDB had earlier warned that 100 million youths may be added to the number of unemployed persons by 2030.
In its African Economic Outlook report, the bank predicted that most of the jobs will be generated by the informal sector where “productivity and wages are low and work is insecure, making the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030 a difficult task”.
To combat this, SECO contributed three million Swiss francs (CHF) to the Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab) for innovative young entrepreneurs and 200,000CHF to the Urban & Municipal Development Fund for Africa (UMDF), which helps African cities plan and manage urban growth and climate-resilient development.
The E-Lab, which is a part of the Boost Africa initiative, provides young entrepreneurs with financing, technical assistance and broader ecosystem support through incubators, accelerators and fund managers.
Five countries have been identified to pilot the E-Lab: Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.
Switzerland joined the African Development Fund in 1972 and has been a full member of the African Development Bank since 1982.