ABUJA, 23 April 2018 - The Government of Japan has announced that it will fund a project to promote youth entrepreneurship in north-eastern Nigeria. This is one of eight new projects implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Nigeria, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic, with Japanese funding totaling US$5.2 million.
The project will build on a previous project funded by the Government of Japan to further improve senior secondary school education. By providing students with technical trade knowledge and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, young people will learn how to start and manage their own micro and small-scale businesses, thus promoting youth-led entrepreneurial development. Upon successful implementation of the project in three north-eastern states – Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe – the 'revised trade and entrepreneurship programme' will be included in the curriculum of all senior secondary schools across Nigeria.
Sadanobu Kusaoke, Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, reassured that the Government of Japan will continue to support Nigerian people’s efforts aimed at restoring livelihoods for the young generations in the North-East region.
Speaking at the kick-off event held on 28 March at UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, during which the eight projects and the funding from the Government of Japan were announced, UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, highlighted that the projects aim to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus and promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development by taking a human security approach.
Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano, the Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, stated that the projects will “help individuals to live under healthy conditions, consolidate their livelihoods and, with all of this, gain optimism for their future.”
In north-eastern Nigeria, the recent armed conflict has deeply affected the economy and generated millions of internally displaced persons. This project seeks to address the challenges of high youth unemployment and poverty levels, which pose serious risks to social stability, economic development, and post-crisis rehabilitation in the long-term. By promoting trade and entrepreneurship education the project aims to enhance the employability and resilience of youth, which in turn strengthens social stabilization in vulnerable communities.
Shortly after the announcement of the Government of Japan’s funding of the project, a Consultative Meeting was held in Abuja on 10 April in which three north-eastern states – Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe – expressed their commitment to the successful implementation of the project. Attended by high-level representatives of Adamawa and Bauchi states, as well as the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and UNIDO officials, the meeting served to kick-off the piloting of the revised trade and entrepreneurship subjects’ curricula in six senior secondary schools across three states in north-eastern Nigeria.
For further information, please contact:
Tatsuya Imamura, Embassy of Japan
Ambassador’s Special Advisor
Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO