The Job Placement and Information Service (JOPIS) unit of the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has on Thursday 25th July, 2019 organized a one-day sensitization lecture on TEF-UNDP Youth Entrepreneurship Program. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) have launched the TEF – UNDP Youth Entrepreneurship Program to empower an additional 100,000 young African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years with seed capital, business management training and mentoring. The first phase of this partnership titled the “TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Program” will be implemented this year (2019) and will empower 2,000 entrepreneurs from the following countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad region: Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Nigeria. The JOPIS Unit of the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) notices that, in Nigeria, more than 80% of the beneficiaries of the previous versions of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Program were from the southern part of the country. This was as a result of numerous reasons. One most of the youths in the northern part of the country are unaware of the existence of such programs. Secondly, those that have little awareness of such programs lack the capacity to develop winning proposals that help them to benefit from such programs. Thirdly, most those programs are ICT based that required internet services which number of them do not have access.
In his welcome remarks, Malam Hamza Ibrahim said that the lecture aimed to achieve the following objectives:
- Sensitize the youth about the existence of the TEF-UNDP Entrepreneurship Program and its duration
- Help them to develop winning proposals and
- Assist them to apply
Three presentations were made during the program, Kamal Garba Alhassan made a presentation on problems of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in Kano. In his presentation, Kamal said that a serious challenge that entrepreneurs face in Northern Nigeria is lack of sources of capital and even the lending institutions have make requirements that are difficult for a common entrepreneur to benefit. Abdul’aziz Yunusa Ya’u, a beneficiary of Fadama III Project tipped the participants on strategies that help them to write a winning business proposal for grants. While Sagiru Ado Abubakar who coordinates the Job Placement Information Service of the center practically demonstrated the application procedure and general guidelines for the pilot phase of the TEF-UNDP partnership program. He emphasized that applicant must to be an African entrepreneur residing in any of these listed countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad region namely: Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Mauritania, Mali and Burkina Faso. Also your business must not be more than 3years in existence and businesses at the idea/concept stage are also encouraged.
The program targeted National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), students and the general public. The participants have asked many questions and made comments and suggestions, some of them appreciated CITAD for organizing the workshop while others observed that the next time a workshop like that should be timely as the deadline for the TEF-UNDP Youth Entrepreneurship Program approaches.