WASHINGTON, June 27, 2014 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$63 million to support education and training programs to improve the work prospects for Mali’s young people. The project will also encourage private-sector job opportunities for these young people.
Mali Skills Development and Youth Employment Project will help youth acquire the right skills to compete for jobs. About 70% of the country’s youth between the ages of 15 and 24 have left school and do not have sufficient qualifications and skills to enter the workforce. The majority are employed in low level jobs in agriculture and services.
“Today’s projectwillcontribute to reducing the proportion of out of school, unemployed and disenfranchised youth which has increased as a result of the disruption of the education system, and the worsening economic climate since 2012,” said Paul Noumba um, World Bank Country Director for Mali. “Unemployed young people pose a major development and security challenge to Mali for the foreseeable future.”
The project will remove hurdles and promote the potential to create jobs for the increasing number of people entering the workforce, which is essential to Mali’s recovery from the crisis and to support shared growth. Providing basic skills training and job opportunities in the informal sector for the highly vulnerable youth will also help address extreme poverty.
By focusing on the skills and the availability of jobs for the youth, the project is fully aligned with the Bank and the Government’s priorities.
“There are not enough jobs and the skills of the workforce are not adequate or simply irrelevant to the needs of the marketplace,” said Emanuela Di Gropello World Bank Human development Sector Leader and project Task Team Leader. “The project will help provide Malian youth with the skills and jobs opportunities needed to strive in the labor market.”
The education and training activities will help young people between the ages of 15 to 29 in and out of school through supporting stronger Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) institutions and strengthening other skills development programs. Activities supporting potential entrepreneurs and promoting job opportunities in Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) will help unemployed young adults ages 21 to 35 who have varying education and training.
The schools and their teachers will benefit from the project along with SMEs and the larger private sector in Mali.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants 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 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.