African Development Bank (AfDB) says it is designing financial institutions that will invest in businesses owned by youths.
Akinwumi Adesina, President, AfDB, said this on Friday at the end of the bank’s 2022 annual meetings in Accra, Ghana.
Adesina said the investment banks would help youths get capital, provide jobs and create wealth for the younger generation.
He added that the plan would be finalised by June this year.
“We are designing renewed financial institutions that will invest into the business of the youths and Ghana is one of the benefitting countries,” he said.
“We have 13 countries and we expect to finish that design by the end of June. It will give youth-based businesses more opportunities to train, invest, create jobs for themselves, and succeed on our beautiful continent.
“This project reinforces the affirmative finance action for women in Africa initiative (AFAWA), through which the bank has made $420 million available for women’s businesses in 2021. This will be increased to $500 million in 2022.”
Adesina also said the bank had invested $1 billion in special agro-industrial processing zones to curb food losses.
He said some countries such as Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritius, and Mozambique, among others will benefit from it.
“These are the new investments the bank is making and will be close to the areas that the farmers are producing, enabled with water, infrastructure, logistics so that the food and agriculture processing companies can be located close to the zones,” Adesina added.
“The processing companies in most countries are not located in the rural areas because there is no infrastructure in the rural areas.
“What we are trying to do with the processing zones is to reduce the cost of doing business for the food and agriculture companies, so that they can off-take from the farmers and process them there.
“We lose too much of our food and the consequence is that we start complaining about carbon emissions, producing and not having any impact and that affects the prices of food that eventually gets to the market.
“Post-harvest losses are what I can describe as pouring water into a bucket that has holes, you have to stop the leakage but in developed countries, post-harvest losses are as a result of too much food, you can’t eat it, you throw it away but in Africa, it is not like that.”