The MasterCard Foundation has announced that it has signed the Host Country Agreement that will enable the foundation to empower 10 million young people in Nigeria to have dignified and fulfilling jobs, 70% of whom will be of the female gender.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, while speaking during the signing ceremony held at the Ministry’s office in Abuja, noted that the MasterCard Foundation’s Young Africa Works in Nigerian Strategy, is aligned with the national development plan of the federal government.
On her part, the Nigerian Country Head for the MasterCard Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson explained that the signing of the agreement has further strengthened the foundation’s commitment to providing millions of Nigerian youths with work opportunities that will meet their aspirations, stating that Young Africa Works in Nigeria presently focuses on three key economic sectors including agriculture, creative industries and the digital economy with additional sectors being considered, to further increase opportunities for the youths.
The foundation has formed partnerships with organisations like Enterprise Development Centre, (EDC), of the Pan African University, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA), Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, Jobberman and Babban Gona, with a view of realizing its goals in Nigeria.
‘We have formed partnerships with several organizations and are working together to leverage each other’s strengths,’ Lawanson said.
‘Through our focus areas of agriculture, creative, and digital economies, we have aligned with the federal government’s national development plan to ensure we reduce unemployment in the country and unlock the skills and creative abilities of our youth, particularly young women’, she added.
Ms Lawson also confirmed that the foundation’s Young Africa Works Initiatives in six other African countries are creating growth opportunities for women owned enterprises and enabling young people to acquire market-relevant skills that are in demand by growing businesses in key sectors of the economy.
The MasterCard Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world.
It was created by MasterCard in 2006 as an independent organisation with its own Board of Directors and Management.
The Young African Works Program on its part is the MasterCard strategy to enable 30 million young people, especially young women to have dignified and fulfilling jobs by 2030.
It has an aim of making Africa a home to the world’s largest workforce with 375 million young people entering the labour market.
With the right skills they will improve their lives and that of their communities, thereby contributing to Africa’s overall competitiveness.
The Young African Works Program is implemented in collaboration with governments, the private sector, business leaders, educators and young people. It is currently involved in the first phase of the strategy in the following countries: Rwanda, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda.