Monrovia – A high-level delegation of the African Development Bank is in Liberia to explore possibilities for the establishment of the Youth Entrepreneurship and Investment Bank (YEIB) in Liberia.
The delegation which is led by Mr. Solomon Quaynor, Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Industrialization paid its first courtesy call and stakeholder’s engagement with Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor at her Capitol building office Monday, April 3, 2023.
The meeting according to a release from the Office of the Vice President centered on the AfDB proposal to establish the Youth Entrepreneurship and Investment Bank which will primarily fund Liberia’s Youth Entrepreneurship program.
The delegation intimated that YEIB will enable youth to access financial and non-financial services to address youth unemployment.
According to the delegation, financial services will focus on the provision of loans with zero interest and longer tenure for repayment; while the non-financial services will provide capacity building, mentorship, and financial skills to help entrepreneurs and encourage youth entrepreneurship.
The YEIB youth entrepreneurship program will cover three areas including Angel Investment Fund, Credit Guarantee Fund, and Technical Assistance Fund.
The AfDB delegation further revealed that the Angel investment fund will support youth entrepreneurs who have ongoing businesses to expand at commercial levels to meet market demands, while the Credit Guarantee Fund will provide substitutes for collateral which helps youth entrepreneurs to access funds for business, and the Technical Assistance Fund will support business development services and capacity building for entrepreneurs to develop and sustain their businesses.
The YEIB will be funded by the AfDB and Mastercard Foundation on a gender-balanced basis in support of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
When launched and operationalized, Liberia will be the third country for such investment after Nigeria and Ethiopia.
Madam Vice President welcomed the initiative and pledged the Government’s unwavering support to ensure that the youth of Liberia are empowered.
The Delegation is expected to hold further discussions with the Central Bank, the Ministry of Commerce, the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, and Youth Entrepreneurs from across the country, Private Sector actors, and others.