Abuja, Feb. 28, 2017. (TNE): The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is to invest 35 million euros in youth empowerment and skills development in five African countries within three years.
Ms Estherine Fotabong, Director, NEPAD Continental, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday, in a paper she presented at a two-day Stakeholders Meeting on Skills Initiative for Africa.
According to Fotabong, the five pilot countries are Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria, Cameroon and South Africa.
She listed some of the areas of focus as construction of facilities, rehabilitation and extension of facilities, purchase of workshop equipment and entrepreneurship/mentorship programmes.
Other areas include Information Communication Technology (ICT) based approach to skill development and regional/continental skill competition.
The director said that skills development institutions, vocational institutions, technology-based institutions, apprenticeship training centres, Non-Governmental Organisations, among others, were eligible to apply.
”The fund will benefit young people from rural areas especially the less-privileged.
”They will not just be trained but equipped with managerial ability to coordinate their skills and businesses.
”Applicants will be guided and supported with information and material; projects will be selected by a NEPAD-led investment committee.
”Implementation agreement will be concluded between the applicant and NEPAD,” she said.
Fatabong explained that there would be three funding windows.
They are the intercontinental which attracts 1 million euros to 1.5 million euros; large investment projects which attract 3 million euros, and innovation which attracts 200,000 to 1 million euros.
According to her, the deadline for application to the intercontinental window is May 27, while the deadline for application to the large investment window is the second half of the year.
Fatabong said that further details could be obtained at NEPAD’s:www.skillsinitiative-for-africa.com.
Earlier, Mrs Gloria Akobundu, the National Coordinator, NEPAD Nigeria, had said that the agency had started the process of boosting skills acquisition and addressing unemployment in the country.
Akobundu said that the initiative was officially inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, on Monday in company of NEPAD Continental team from South Africa. (TNE)