United States African Development Foundation partners with Lagos State, to invest $10 billion in 15,000 youths in 5 years   

08 May 2019 : The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund secures a $10 million partnership with the United States African Development Foundation to increase youth employment in Nigeria through financial investments.

The partnership involves both the parties contributing $1 million each over a period of 5 years.This new partnership builds on the success of each agency’s individual efforts – LSETF’s employability and loan program and USADF’s provision of seed capital and business advisory services to young entrepreneurs across 30 African countries. 

According to LSETF, the main motive of the partnership is to train young people in Lagos State, and provide them with internships and support their entrepreneurial dreams.

In 2016, Lagos State Government founded LSETF with a starting capital of N25 billion ($69.5 million) contributed over 4 years to create jobs and wealth for state residents. LSETF also gets additional funding from external donors, development agencies and private individuals and corporations.

USADF is the African enterprise development agency founded by the US government to invest in grassroots small businesses.

“The average age of a Nigerian today is 17.9 years old, and the country’s population is growing at a rapid rate. It is therefore essential that the investments USADF makes in Nigeria, alongside partners such as LSETF, to address youth unemployment prioritise entrepreneurship, job creation and placement, and income generation,” C.D. Glin, USADF’s President and CEO, said.

“On behalf of the Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, and the people of Lagos State, it is an honor for me to join in the signing of this strategically important MoU,” says Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, Chair of LSETF’s Board of Trustees. “Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics reported in April 2019, that between Q3 2017 and Q2 2018, Lagos State was one of the nine states that recorded a reduction in unemployment rates despite an increase in the national unemployment rate. Lagos State also led the nation in job creation with more than 700,000 net full-time jobs. This partnership with USADF will ensure we maintain our top ranking and, more importantly, help transform the lives of thousands of young Lagos residents.”

The program will provide annual training for a whopping 3,000 people between the ages of 18-35 years, totalling 15,000 people in 5 years. They will be given the tools to develop the relevant industry skills to gain and create employment in Lagos State. Each of them will also be eligible for an internship for up to six months, with the expectation that they will then go on to secure full-time jobs or build their own businesses.

Earlier in 2019, LSETF said its beneficiaries had created nearly 90,000 jobs, it has funded 7,817 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and 89% of these businesses have been able to pay back loans from their income and profits.

Reporting for EasyKobo on Wednesday , 08 May 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria

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