In a historic move, the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, led by the Honourable Minister Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim, has partnered with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) to launch a transformative initiative. This initiative, which aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 8-point agenda, particularly the focus on youth empowerment and sustainable development, through Food Security, Job Creation, Poverty Alleviation,Growth and Access to Capital, aims to empower 1 million Nigerian youths. This announcement, made during the recent COP28 in Dubai, marks a momentous step in youth-centric sustainable development.
This visionary project, starting in January 2024, integrates AUDA’s flagship programs – Energize Africa and AFR100 – and focuses on comprehensive programs in agroforestry, land restoration, and staple food cropping. The initiative’s first phase targets the restoration of 10,000 hectares of land in Niger State, in alignment with the proposed reforms of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Honourable Minister expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “This strategic partnership forged at COP28 symbolizes our commitment to sustainable development, youth empowerment, and environmental stewardship. We are poised to unlock the immense potential of our youth, contributing to job creation, income generation, and economic growth.”
In collaboration with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Works, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Trade and Industry, AUDA NEPAD Nigeria, The World Bank’s ACRESAL Project, and the Government of Niger State, this initiative aims to create employment opportunities, enhance food security, restore degraded lands, and promote environmental sustainability.
The Government of Niger State has generously allocated land to kick-start the program, demonstrating its commitment to the state’s Green Economy Blueprint, launched at COP28.
Dr. Jamila Bio-Ibrahim and her counterparts, including Mamadou Diakhite, Head of Environmental Sustainability Division of AUDA, and the Technical Team Lead of AFR100, are dedicated to this cause. They believe in the power of this partnership to make a lasting impact on the lives of Nigerian youths and contribute significantly to the global effort for a greener and more prosperous future.