WASHINGTON, December 14, 2020 – The World Bank has approved $60 million in financing from the International Development Association (IDA)* to help Benin increase the economic inclusion of youth from impoverished backgrounds and strengthen employment services and the technical and vocational training system.
The youth inclusion project seeks to increase the economic inclusion of youth between the ages of 15 and 30 years—50% of whom are girls—with little or no education. Approximately 35,000 people will benefit from services focusing on self-employment, paid employment, business development, and coaching. The project will provide a cash transfers to 24,000 vulnerable young people. The project will also support the technical and vocational training system by providing training in high-income generating activities to 4,000 young people through the Professional Skills Certificate program, as well as short-term training to about 12,000 young people.
“Young people with little or no education are often trapped in the vicious circle of underemployment and low incomes. Equipping them with vocational skills will allow them to create jobs and growth,” said Atou Seck, World Bank Country Manager for Benin. “This project will also help young people avoid certain pitfalls.”
This operation will build on the achievements of the Benin Youth Employment Project (PEJ) that closed in June 2019. The PEJ supported the apprenticeship system in Benin’s 77 communes, providing 17,000 young people with comprehensive business and socio-emotional skills training and a start-up grant.
This operation reflects the Beninese government’s priorities in the areas of youth employment and technical and vocational training. It is in line with Benin’s new national employment policy and the new Technical and Vocational Education and Training Strategy, which underscore the link between training and employment for better inclusion of youth.
*The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources help effect positive change in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in the countries that are eligible for its assistance. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.