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De-risk and support green fund proposed to boost youth entrepreneurs in Africa

Perseverance Javangwe

In recent years, the urgency to combat climate change and promote sustainable economic development has become increasingly apparent. To address this challenge, experts are recommending the establishment of a de-risk and support investments green fund specifically designed for African youth entrepreneurs. This proposed fund aims not only to support the adaptation efforts in Africa but also to create green job opportunities while scaling up existing programs catering to youth entrepreneurs in the region.

The concept behind the de-risk and support investments green fund is to provide financial and non-financial services to young African entrepreneurs. By doing so, it will serve as a mechanism to promote sustainable initiatives and accelerate the growth of youth-led enterprises that can influence environmental change. To make this endeavor a reality, stakeholders are looking towards multilateral partnerships, including regional multilateral development finance institutions that can contribute to the funding and support of the proposed fund.

One of the primary goals of the green fund is to address the challenges faced by youth entrepreneurs in Africa. Limited access to capital, insufficient technical assistance, and a lack of market opportunities have hindered the growth and potential of these budding entrepreneurs. By offering financial and non-financial services, the fund will help mitigate investment risks, provide mentorship and training, and ensure that a pipeline of successful youth-led enterprises is created.

According to the African Youth Climate Assembly (AYCA) Declaration and Ambition Statement in the just ended Youth Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya the establishment of a de-risk and support investment green fund is critical for youths’ quest in the adaptation to climate change.

“…we recommend the setting up of a de-risk and support investments green fund for financial and non-financial services for youth entrepreneurs in Africa as a viable solution to adaptation and green job creation and mechanism to scale up programs that are providing support to youth entrepreneurs to create a pipeline of youth-led enterprises that can benefit from the Youth Entrepreneurship Investments supported from multilateral partnerships including regional multilateral development finance institution

Recognizing the immense potential of youth-led enterprises in contributing to sustainable development and economic growth across Africa, proponents argue that the creation of a dedicated green fund is a necessary step towards amplifying support for these promising entrepreneurs. By providing financial resources and non-financial services such as mentorship and training, the fund seeks to enhance the capacity of young entrepreneurs to tackle environmental challenges effectively.

The proposed green fund would serve as a mechanism to pool resources from various multilateral partnerships and redirect them towards youth-led enterprises engaged in environmentally conscious initiatives. These enterprises, driven by young minds brimming with innovative ideas, will gain access to the necessary funding required to turn their ideas into tangible solutions. Simultaneously, the fund would help mitigate risks associated with green investments, encouraging private sector engagement and facilitating a pipeline of sustainable youth-led ventures.

“This is actually a great initiative because by establishing a de-risk and support investments green fund, the major aim is actually to unleash the potential of young entrepreneurs in Africa. This will pave the way for the creation of a vibrant ecosystem of youth-led enterprises focused on addressing pressing environmental challenges. The issue now is that this has to be implemented sooner so that youth play a huge role in terms of climate adaptation. Youth have a large role to play, and for such there is need to fully support them,” remarked Rudo Machenjedze, Programs Officer for Climate Justice Zimbabwe network.

Another significant aspect of the proposed fund is its dual-focus on adaptation and green job creation. Africa, being particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, necessitates the development of adaptation strategies that can enhance resiliency across various sectors. Through targeted investments in climate-smart technologies and sustainable practices, the fund will help youth entrepreneurs develop innovative solutions that address climate-related challenges while creating employment opportunities in the green sector.

Advocates for the green fund emphasize that it will not only empower youth entrepreneurs but also stimulate multilateral partnerships.

“…this will go even further to attract multilateral partnerships from across the world, and help bring together various stakeholders, such as governments, international organisations, and private sector entities, to pool their financial resources. This ensures that green fund for African youths receives adequate funding to support sustainable initiatives and projects. Furthermore, multilateral partnerships facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience between different countries and organisations. This enables African youths to learn from successful green initiatives implemented elsewhere, adopt best practices, and build their capacity in environmentally technologies and practices,” said Zimbabwe youth advocate for climate change Chrisphen Moyo.

Creating a conducive environment for youth-led enterprises is crucial for Africa’s future development. These enterprises have the potential to foster economic growth, reduce unemployment rates, and contribute to sustainable development. By providing financial support, technical assistance, and facilitating partnerships, the de-risk and support investments green fund will enable African youth entrepreneurs to contribute effectively to the green economy and drive environmental change.

However, the establishment and successful implementation of such a fund require the commitment and collaboration of various stakeholders.

“Governments, multilateral development finance institutions, and private sector entities should work together to mobilize resources, design effective programs, and ensure the fund’s sustainability in the long term. For this dream to become a reality, there is need for collaborative efforts from all corners of the world so that African Youths lead in climate adaptation,” added Moyo.

The proposal to set up a de-risk and support investments green fund for youth entrepreneurs in Africa offers a promising solution for adaptation, green job creation, and scaling up existing support programs. By leveraging multilateral partnerships, this fund has the potential to empower young African entrepreneurs, foster sustainable development, and contribute to environmental resilience on the continent.

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