In its bid to strength education and ward off insecurity in Sokoto state the African Development Bank (AfDB) is encouraging the state to be the pivot of women and youth economic empowerment in Northern Nigeria.
In a statement Signes by Muhammad Bello Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Governor made available to news men revealed that
The state Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Bashir Garba, disclosed this after Gov Aminu Waziri Tambuwal led a delegation from the state to meet with the management team of the AfDB in Abidjan recently.
According to him, the bank has already rolled out its plans to establish six entrepreneurship centers in the state, one each of which will be located in the three senatorial districts of the state; and, the remaining in three tertiary institutions of the state.
He added that “the AfDB wants the state government to key into its array of programs targeted at empowering women and youths,” which includes: the’Rural Microenterprise Flagship Program Model,” the “ENABLE Youth (Empowering Novel Agri-Business Led Employment) program,” “Agro-industrialization Pipeline Flagship Program Model,” and the “Skills Enhancement Zone Flagship Program Model.”
He further added that the bank wants the state to be part of its Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as well as the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA).
Prof. Bashir explained that “the AfDB wants Sokoto state to be a center of excellence in youth and women empowerment in Nigeria that will support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially those that will empower women,” the latter of which the bank said current capital access is available.
In order to ensure that the thematic areas discussed by the Sokoto state government and the continental bank come to fruition, the state, according to Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, will participate in the bank’s flagship investment event- Africa Investment Forum, slated for November 2022.
The Forum, it is gathered “will be used to develop a model in agriculture and natural resources development across the continent,” which Gov. Tambuwal said will help greatly in transforming the economic landscape of Sokoto state.
The bank, it was also learnt, is keen on the development of an agro-cargo terminal and an agro-processing zone by the state. “To this end, the AfDB is set to make the state one of its focal centers, among the six already slated to benefit from it.
“The bank, in specific terms, wants to put this states in vantage positions of being economic corridors from Northern Nigeria to other African countries,” Prof Garba explained.