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African Development Fund Grants $19.95m For Jobs In Sierra Leone

THE African Development Fund, the concessional window of the African Development Bank, has approved a $19.95 million grant to support a significant initiative aimed at improving livelihoods for women and youth in Sierra Leone. This initiative, titled ‘Job Creation for Youth and Women in Climate Smart Agriculture Value Chains and Waste Management,’ focuses on value chains where women and youth are most active, such as cassava production and fisheries.

The grant, part of the Transition Support Facility’s Pillar 1, aims to address the root causes of fragility and insecurity in Sierra Leone. Additionally, the Global Centre on Adaptation will provide $159,600 for technical assistance to develop adaptation strategies, including waste management policies.


Halima Hashi, the Bank’s Country Manager in Sierra Leone, highlighted that 70 percent of the project beneficiaries will be women, promoting gender equality and economic empowerment.

The project will enhance entrepreneurial skills in climate-smart agriculture and waste management value chains, improve access to funding for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), economic groups, and cooperatives led by young people and women, expand market access for youth and women-led MSMEs, and build institutional capacity to improve the business environment and service delivery for entrepreneurs.

Key targets of the project include improving funding access for 700 MSMEs, strengthening entrepreneurial and digital skills for 2,500 people in the cassava and fisheries value chains, with 70 percent of them being women, training 1,000 people in waste management value chains, including 250 women, facilitating business linkages between 700 MSMEs and large businesses, and creating a digital marketplace benefiting 5,000 smallholder farmers and 4,850 value chain MSMEs.

The initiative aims to create 9,200 jobs, strengthen climate change adaptation capacity for 3,500 youth and women, and increase MSME revenues by at least 10 percent.

This project aligns with Sierra Leone’s BIG FIVE Agenda and medium-term National Development Plan (2024-2030), which targets creating 500,000 new youth jobs by 2030. It also supports the African Development Bank’s Ten-year Strategy (2024-2033) and its Country Strategy Paper (2020-2024) for Sierra Leone.

By focusing on sustainable and inclusive economic growth, the initiative seeks to empower women and youth, promote climate resilience, and foster a more robust economic environment in Sierra Leone.

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