Nigeria: The U.S. African Development Foundation and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Create Program to Increase Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship in Nigeria

Photo: USADF
LSETF Board Chair Ifueko Omoigui Okauru and USADF President and CEO C.D. Glin signed the MoU for the agencies' new partnership.
press release

Washington, DC — The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) announce a new partnership to increase youth employment in Nigeria through financial investments, job training and placements, and entrepreneurship opportunities. The two parties held a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing event today at the USADF office in Washington, D.C.

The USADF-LSETF Employability Program is a new five-year, $10 million commitment, with USADF and LSETF each contributing $1 million per year. LSETF is an agency of the Lagos State Government in Nigeria tasked with creating employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for all Lagos State residents. This new partnership builds on the success of each agency’s individual efforts – LSETF’s employability and loan program and USADF’s provision of seed capital and business advisory services to young entrepreneurs across 30 African countries.

“The average age of a Nigerian today is 17.9 years old, and the country’s population is growing at a rapid rate,” C.D. Glin, USADF’s President and CEO, points out. “It is therefore essential that the investments USADF makes in Nigeria, alongside partners such as LSETF, to address youth unemployment prioritize entrepreneurship, job creation and placement, and income generation.”
USADF President and CEO C.D. Glin spoke about the importance of the two countries working together.

The United Nations World Population Prospects report predicts that, by 2050, Nigeria will surpass the United States as the third-most populous country in the world, after China and India. The report also states that three-fourths of Nigeria’s people will be living in urban areas. The City of Lagos is already the most populous on the continent of Africa.

“On behalf of the Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, and the people of Lagos State, it is an honor for me to join in the signing of this strategically important MoU,” says Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, Chair of LSETF’s Board of Trustees. “Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics reported in April 2019, that between Q3 2017 and Q2 2018, Lagos State was one of the nine states that recorded a reduction in unemployment rates despite an increase in the national unemployment rate. Lagos State also led the nation in job creation with more than 700,000 net full-time jobs. This partnership with USADF will ensure we maintain our top ranking and, more importantly, help transform the lives of thousands of young Lagos residents.”

The program will train at least 3,000 youth between the ages of 18 and 35 annually – for a total of 15,000 youth over five years – developing the relevant industry skills to gain and create employment in Lagos State. Each youth trainee will also be eligible for an internship for up to six months, with the expectation that the internship results in a sustainable job opportunity and helps trainees transition into entrepreneurs, if they desire.

About the United States African Development Foundation (USADF)
USADF is the U.S. Government’s African enterprise development agency. The agency invests in grassroots, small, and growing businesses; promotes local economic development; and creates pathways to prosperity for underserved communities. Utilizing a community-led development approach, USADF provides seed capital and local project management assistance to early stage enterprises addressing local challenges such as food security, energy access, and women and youth employment. Annually, USADF’s grant assistance for enterprise development and expansion generates approximately $100 million in new local economic activity throughout 20 African countries. Learn more at www.usadf.gov. Communications contact: Jarvis Holliday, jholliday@usadf.gov, 202-233-8856.

About Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)
Established in 2016, LSETF’s vision is to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to reduce unemployment in Lagos State. LSETF focuses on promoting entrepreneurship by improving access to finance, strengthening the institutional capacity of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), formulating policies and actively intervening to improve the business environment. The Fund also trains and places unemployed Lagos residents in jobs, while also driving innovation within the Lagos ecosystem. Learn more at https://lsetf.ng. Communications contact: Abosede Alimi, abosede.alimi@lsetf.ng.

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