African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina has announced a new $1 billion facility to accelerate climate financing for Africa’s youth businesses.
The additional financing will boost YouthAdapt, a joint initiative between the Bank and the Global Centre on Adaptation. It invites young entrepreneurs and micro, small, and medium enterprises in Africa to submit innovative solutions and business ideas that have the potential to drive climate change adaptation and resilience across the continent.
Adesina made the announcement during a High-Level Intergenerational Dialogue: Africa Driving Climate Adaptation Solutions and Jobs, held at the Wangari Maathai Institute of Peace and Environment on the outskirts of Nairobi. The institute, funded by the African Development Bank, was officially opened in 2022.
Adesina was joined by the 8th Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, Graça Machel, Chair of the board of trustees of the Graça Machel Trust and the African Child Policy Forum GCA’s CEO Patrick Verkooijen, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports Ababu Namwamba, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norway’s Minister of International Development, Kerrie Simmonds, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Barbados, as well as other dignitaries.
Announcing the $1 billion-dollar additional funding, the Bank chief said African youths didn’t want “little things being doled out to them”. “We have no option but to invest in our youths,” Adesina said.
Over the past two years, YouthAdapt has provided more than $1.5 million to 33 young entrepreneurs across 19 African countries. Some have gone on to raise their profits by 200%.