The Ford Foundation and MacArthur Foundation on Monday announced the launch of the $5milliom Nigeria Youth Futures Fund (NYFF), that will support and strengthen the youth leadership ecosystem in Nigeria.
In close partnership with LEAP Africa, who will be managing the fund, NYFF will build on the momentum in the region inspired by the youth-led #EndSARS movement.
The partners said the fund will increase leadership capacity, enhance educational opportunities, and build relationships between youth leaders and regional governments.
NYFF is a five-year collaborative fund seeded by $3 million from the Ford Foundation and $2 million from the MacArthur Foundation to facilitate young people’s leadership and civic engagement in Nigeria, with the goal of raising $15 million from additional partners and other foundations.
A joint statement by the sponsors of the fund said young people under the age of 30 comprise more than 70 percent of Nigeria’s population, with projections that this figure will continue to grow over the next few decades.
They added research has shown that the future progress of Nigeria is based upon the extent to which young people are educated, skilled, healthy, and active in civic and political processes, including their involvement in the formation of long-term development strategies.
“We’re excited about this launch because over the last decade, several analyses have shown that there is likely to be a great return on investment in youth across the economic, social, political, and technological domains of Nigeria’s development,” Program Officer in the Office of West Africa, Ford Foundation, Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima, said.
Kole Shettima, MacArthur Foundation On Nigeria program Co-Director and Director of the Nigeria office said, “There is no better time to invest in the civic engagement and participation of our young people, and the Nigeria Youth Futures Fund will sustain their work locally and amplify their voices in the halls of power.”
To kick off the engagement of youth, NYFF will launch an online competition to encourage young people to design the logo for the new Nigeria Youth Futures Fund