IYA recently hosted, the Country Director of the World Bank for Nigeria, Dr. Shubham Chaudhuri during his visit to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) headquarters in Ibadan. During the visit, IYA provided a comprehensive overview of its initiatives, achievements, and success stories. The program highlighted its ongoing collaboration with the World Bank on the PICAGL Project (Projet Integré de Croissance Agricole dans Les Grands Lacs) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The PICAGL Project, which is funded by the World Bank, is instrumental in providing technical and business development training across various agricultural value chains. It also plays a pivotal role in connecting young entrepreneurs with the necessary financial resources to implement their business plans. The initiative has led to the emergence of 180 youth-led enterprises, contributed to the expansion of 60 existing youth-led enterprises, and increased youth employment through the enterprises.
Speaking, Dr. Chaudhuri challenged the IYA with the question: “How many Nigerians turn 18 every year, and how many of them hold a university degree?” The poser highlighted the challenges and risks associated with targeting a young audience for the IYA’s project and securing World Bank financing. It emphasized the complexity of aligning IYA goals with the demographic realities of Nigeria.
The dialogue opened the potential for collaboration with the World Bank to access funding and addressed the challenges posed by the intricacies of government policies and bureaucratic bottlenecks.