The African Development Bank (AfDB) is setting up youth entrepreneurship investment banks that will help increase youth wealth for Africa’s young population, the bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, announced on Tuesday.

The banks, which will be rolled out by the end of this month, will act as new financial institutions that create supportive ecosystems around youth businesses, financing their businesses in a life cycle model ranging from technical assistance to debt and equity financing, Adesina said while speaking at the 2022 Commonwealth Business Forum in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

“For Africa and all Commonwealth countries, the real issue is that we need to create youth-based wealth. To be able to support young people, we must prioritize them in our funding. We are creating youth entrepreneurship investment banks that will support youth businesses,” Adesina said.

“I don’t believe that the future of African youth is in Europe… We need to create decent and quality jobs for young people. The common future must be the future of the youth, so we must ensure that we build the Commonwealth for the youth,” he added.

He stressed the need for young people to access quality education and vocational training for the jobs of the future. Adesina also advised young people to take up farming.

The Commonwealth Business Forum attracted approximately 1,500 delegates from Commonwealth member state governments.

The three-day forum is to address the CHOGM theme – “Delivering a Common Future: Connect, Innovate, Transform”, with a focus on “A Global Reset”, addressing the impact of the pandemic and the role of the Commonwealth in rebuilding and reinvigorating the global economy.

The forum is part of a series of events taking place on the second day of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which runs from June 20-25.