In the economic sphere of Lagos State, youth unemployment and development are disturbing issues which young women are also victims of. According to a new report, it was stated that across the world, Africa occupies the position of having the highest number of young people, with 226 million persons; 50.1 percent of this population are female. Currently, Africa accounts for one-fifth of the world’s population, with a projection to make up one-third of the global population by 2050.
According to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), in 2017, about 4 million Nigerians were unemployed. As a result, the state had the highest record of unemployed youths. Data gotten from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the rate of unemployment in Lagos increased from 17.8 percent to 37.14 percent in 2017 and 2020 respectively. Owing to this fact, a significant number of women and youths are out of jobs due to insufficient formal job opportunities, lack of access to education and trainings and inadequate skills.
AFDEC, sponsored by TCCF, empowers 250 young women.
These unemployed women are also faced with other challenges such as discriminatory social and cultural norms, insufficient time to work due to domestic and care responsibilities, and marginalisation of minority groups. To tackle these challenges, the African Fashion Development and Empowerment Centre (AFDEC), funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF), launched the AWAMBI project. This project envisions uplifting and empowering about 250 women with vocational and entrepreneurial skills in communities in three LGA of Lagos State, Nigeria.
Indigenously pronounced as “A wa ni bi” in Yoruba language, AWAMBI translates to “We are here”. The programme was conducted from January to March 2023. It contributed immensely to the improvement of the growth of African women entrepreneurs who were selected in Eti-Osa, Ikorodu, and Alimosho Local Government Areas (LGA) of Lagos State. The initiative was established to aid provision of access to internship , networking and mentorship opportunities for young women interested in technology.
Almost 2000 people received trainings on relevant skills.
Also, the programme was designed to provide support and education for women to build sustainable livelihoods through relevant skills acquired through training. By linking these women with mentors and networks, the initiative has contributed to the maximisation of their potentials through productive and profitable activities that would help them build a good future for themselves, their families and the community at large. After completion of the programme, 308 women had received direct training while 1540 had received indirect training.
Apparently, the initiative has yielded a sustainable return on investment and is designed for continuity in the future. It has accomplished its aim of job creation and enhancement of sustainable development solutions that foster positive change across Africa. Some of the courses offered during the course of the project include accounting, accessing funding, taxation, customer relationship management, sales conversion, book-keeping, inventory and financial management, business registration, online and offline pricing, marketing strategy, service delivery and others.
TCCF was established in 1984 to address global challenges.
The Coca-Cola Foundation has not ceased to support innovative ideas and institutions that tackle global challenges, producing measurable impact. It has its focus on ensuring sustainable access to safe water, circular economy, climate resilience, economic empowerment, disaster risk preparedness and causes affecting communities. It has awarded grants worth more than $1.5 billion to honour its mandate since its establishment in 1984. Additionally, it has strengthened various communities across the world through transformative developments and interventions.