greener pastures

Greener Pastures: Empowering Youth and Marginalized Groups in Green Jobs

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is taking a significant step towards fostering a more inclusive and sustainable future for Ghana and Senegal. Through its Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund (YEI MDTF), the AfDB has approved a $999,000 grant to support the “MicroGREEN” project. This initiative aims to empower women, youth, and people with disabilities (PWDs) by equipping them with the skills and resources needed to succeed in green jobs focused on natural resources.

Fostering Inclusive Growth Through Green Jobs

The MicroGREEN project directly addresses the critical need for inclusive economic growth. By providing up to 500 green job opportunities and essential business development services, the program empowers marginalized groups in Ghana and Senegal. The target beneficiaries include women, youth (aged 15-35), and PWDs actively involved in natural resource sectors such as agroforestry, fisheries, and biodiversity conservation.

Building Capacity for a Sustainable Future

The project focuses on a two-pronged approach: building entrepreneurial capacity and fostering business development. Over two years, MicroGREEN will empower at least 1,000 young individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive. This includes a strong emphasis on female youth entrepreneurship (60% of beneficiaries), with additional support allocated to PWDs (10%) and other young individuals (30%) across both countries.

The program leverages a value chain-based approach to SME development. This ensures that beneficiaries gain not only the skills to run successful businesses but also a deep understanding of their specific market segments. This integrated approach aims to maximize job creation, ensure the long-term sustainability of micro-enterprises, and equip participants with the tools needed to integrate seamlessly into the economic mainstream.

Invest in Africa: Expertise Driving Sustainable Growth

MicroGREEN is implemented by Invest in Africa, a non-profit organization with a proven track record of fostering African SME growth and creating prosperous economies across the continent. Their extensive experience in market access, skills development, and access to finance will be instrumental in driving sustainable business growth and job creation in Ghana and Senegal.

Aligning with the AfDB’s Vision for Youth

The launch of MicroGREEN reflects the AfDB’s commitment to empowering African youth. Established in 2017, the YEI MDTF plays a crucial role in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among young Africans. The trust fund provides grants to support initiatives aligned with the AfDB’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy. This overarching strategy aims to create 25 million jobs and equip 50 million youth with employable and entrepreneurial skills by 2025.

Investing in a Greener Future

MicroGREEN represents a significant step forward for Ghana, Senegal, and Africa as a whole. By empowering marginalized groups and promoting sustainable practices in natural resource management, the project has the potential to create a ripple effect of positive change. This includes:

  • Increased Employment: With 500 new green jobs expected to be created, the project offers a much-needed boost to job creation in Ghana and Senegal. This will have a direct impact on poverty reduction and economic development.
  • Environmental Sustainability: By promoting green jobs in natural resource management, the project encourages environmentally friendly practices. This helps ensure the long-term sustainability of these valuable resources.
  • Women’s Empowerment: The project’s strong focus on female youth entrepreneurship paves the way for increased gender equality within the green jobs sector.
  • Empowering PWDs: By offering targeted support to PWDs, MicroGREEN promotes inclusivity and ensures that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to a greener future.

A Brighter Future for All

The MicroGREEN project is a beacon of hope, demonstrating the positive impact that collaborative efforts can have on fostering a more inclusive and environmentally conscious future. By empowering marginalized groups and promoting sustainable practices, the project paves the way for a more prosperous future for Ghana, Senegal, and Africa as a whole.

Original Source: African Development Bank