AfDB launches $1b Youth Adapt initiative to support small businesses

The African Development Bank has announced a $1 billion Youth Adapt initiative to provide seed financing to promote businesses of young people in Africa.

In collaboration with the Global Centre on Adaptation, the bank rolled out the Youth Adapt policy with an investment of $4 million into 33 businesses of young people in 19 African countries. The bank says the intervention increased the profit of such entities by 200% over the period.

Speaking at the African Youth Climate Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said: “We have to put our money where our mouth is. The African Development Bank, together with the Global Centre on Adaptation, have a program called Youth Adapt. We have actually been financing this, with an investment of $4 million, supporting the ideas and businesses of young Africans, basically seed financing.”

“If those businesses work, then they will get more financing, and eventually they will get the growth capital to grow their businesses. We have 33 businesses in 19 countries, and I can tell you that those businesses have increased their profits by 200%. Twenty percent of them are expanding their businesses to other parts of Africa. From the African Development Bank and the Global Centre on Adaptation, we are determined to do exactly what we said. I am very pleased to announce to you that we will launch a $1 billion Youth Adapt initiative. It will provide seed financing and growth capital for small and medium-sized businesses. That is a big thing for the young people of Africa.”

He said the institution is committed to accelerating the policy to enhance the growth of young people on the continent.

“The other thing we are doing at the African Development Bank is that we have launched a climate adaptation window, under the African Development Fund, which is currently a big contributor to the African Development Bank.

This is to now have $429 million, which will support us to provide 20 million farmers with access to crop insurance and livestock insurance. Another 20 million farmers will have access to climate-resilient agricultural technologies to build their resilience. Essentially, to regenerate a million hectares of degraded lands and all that. So this is a very big investment that we are making.”