Software giant Microsoft is expanding its partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support Africa’s youth entrepreneurs under the bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks (YEIB) Initiative.
Through its African Transformation Office (ATO), Microsoft will work with the bank to develop youth entrepreneurship ecosystems, creating jobs and dramatically scaling impact in Africa through digital inclusion.
General Manager for Microsoft Africa, Wael Elkabanny noted that there are simply not enough jobs for the many young and brilliant minds scattered across the continent. So, the youth are now employing themselves.
“By solving problems and monetising their solutions, these young entrepreneurs are solving a surging employment crisis and boosting Africa’s GDP,” he stated.
Wael Elkabbany believes that if more Africans are trained to solve problems they believe in, Africa will find its way to sustenance and increased prosperity, and the AfDB agrees with that, so the pair are daring to prove it right.
As part of the support, the youth entrepreneurs stand to get exposed to curated learning content, funding and credit services, and a host of other professional services that will enable their businesses to thrive and contribute to the continental boom.
Africa’s young population is projected to double in size by 2050, reaching 830 million. Every year, 10 to 12 million youths join the continent’s workforce, but only about 3 million jobs are created, leading to the present unemployment crisis.
Youth entrepreneurship can check this, but affordable access to finance and quality business development services are not yet accessible to most. Initiatives like this can change the narrative, but African youths need more believers in them.