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Youth Entrepreneurship as Pathway to Africa’s Development: The GAIN Experience

Article by Grand Africa Initiative (GAIN)



Chinwe Okoli, Executive Director of GAIN
Chinwe Okoli, Executive Director of GAIN

The greatest asset of any nation is a well-educated and empowered youth. The youth are enthusiastic, curious, creative and innovative.

At this stage, they have the capacity and tenacity to pursue their dreams and attain great heights, however, guidance is important to how this creativity is unlocked. In Africa, young people face a number of challenges, including high levels of youth unemployment.

Youth unemployment inhibits sustained economic growth and development especially in developing countries. In the report on “Global Employment Trends for Youth” by the  International Labor Organization (ILO) published in 2015,  over 169 million working young people earn less than US$2 per day in developing countries. Africa’s youth population is the youngest in the world and is expected to double within the next decade. This will pose a major problem in Africa if nothing drastic is done to tackle the high unemployment rate and its dire consequences.

The African Development Bank (AfDB, ) in its report, Jobs for the Youth in Africa(2016), predicted that 263 million young people will lack an economic stake in the system by 2025. The World Bank in its April 2022 “Update on Global Poverty and Inequality Platform” states that sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 61.3% of the global poor population, that is, those that live on $1.90 per day.

Youth unemployment has contributed immensely to a rise in poverty, terrorism, insecurity, banditry, kidnappings, political thuggery, civil unrest, cyber-crime and many social vices we witness in Africa today. These challenges slow the pace of development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals on the continent.

Entrepreneurship has been shown to be the only sustainable path to resolving this situation. Young people in Africa mostly operate within the micro to small business space and Entrepreneurship provides young people with the necessary skills and experiences to thrive economically and contribute to development of the continent.

However, to achieve this noble continental goal, they need to be groomed to acquire entrepreneurship skills to build and most importantly to scale their businesses across Africa, taking advantage of the consolidated over one-billion-persons market and beyond. 

This is exactly the objective of the GAIN Entrepreneurship Masterclass by Grand Africa Initiative (GAIN).

This Masterclass, now in its second year, has been able to reach young Africans in thirteen countries. To ensure an all- round practical entrepreneurship training, the 2021 edition focused on business ideation, design thinking, business modeling, pitching, business finance, investment, forecast, leadership, communication marketing etc and had facilitators drawn from across the globe. Partners included ExxonMobil, TYSYS Capital Group, Country Hill Attorneys & Solicitors, Vurin Group, Strickland Services Limited, Nextzon Limited and Weltek Limited.

The success of this novel approach is already on display. Over the past six months, we have received testimonials on how the program has impacted the businesses of the pioneer participants.

With feedback ranging from clarity of ideas, ideas conception, boosted confidence, actual startups, expansion, more revenue etc. It has been a harvest of positive testimonials from almost 95% of the pool.

One other critical component of the GAIN Entrepreneurship Masterclass was the “tool box” support provided by collaborating partners to the participants by way of IT starterpacks and/or business grants.

Clearly, with the high level of  youth unemployment and underemployment, Africa is on the verge of a major developmental crises, the effects are already here with us-banditary, illegal migration, political thuggery, and terrorism.

Prior to now, African youths who do not have the privilege of attending high-brow business schools on the continent and abroad have largely struggled, leading to a very high mortality rate of micro to small businesses led by young Africans.

GAIN identified this gap and launched the GAIN Entrepreneurship Masterclass solving the twin problems of lack of entrepreneurship knowledge and business support grant.

The program is already showing a lot of promise and is growing into a major continent-wide pipeline for churning out properly groomed young African Entrepreneurs.

Grand Africa Initiative-GAIN is a pan-African non-governmental organization empowering the youth for success in education, employment, entrepreneurship and innovation through capacity building programs, mentorship and high-level annual youth summits.

With her fast-growing network of forward-thinking youths across Africa, GAIN’s programs are designed to empower and develop the youths.

GAIN also partners with well-meaning individuals and organizations who share the same goals and objectives. is on a critical mission; to objectively and honestly represent the voice of ‘grassrooters’ in International, Federal, State and Local Government fora; heralding the achievements of political and other leaders and investors alike, without discrimination. This daily, digital news publication platform serves as the leading source of up-to-date information on how people and events reflect on the global community. The pragmatic articles reflect on the life of the community people, covering news/current affairs, business, technology, culture and fashion, entertainment, sports, State, National and International issues that directly impact the locals.

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UNILAG Finally Reduces Fees After Meetings With NANS



After a marathon meeting with the national leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, the management of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, has agreed to a reduction in the obligatory fees payable by students of the institution.

To restore student unionism By Adesina Wahab After a marathon meeting with the national leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, the management of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, has agreed to a reduction in the obligatory fees payable by students of the institution.

In a statement by the Head, Communication Unit of UNILAG, Adejoke Alaga-Ibraheem, on Friday morning, the meeting was attended by the National President of NANS, Comrade Usman Umar Barambu accompanied by other NANS officers and the university team led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola.

“The meeting agreed that Utility Charges for all categories of students be reduced to N15,000:00 from N20,000:00. Obligatory fees for new undergraduate students was reviewed from N126,325:00 to N116,325:00 for courses without Lab/Studio and N176,325:00 to N166,325:00 for courses with Lab/Studio.

“The obligatory fees for returning undergraduate students was reviewed from N100,750:00 to N80,750:00 for courses without Lab/Studio; N140,250:00 to N120,250:00 for courses with Lab/Studio; and from N190,250:00 to N170, 250:00 for Medical / Pharmacy students and students in Health Professions.

“The Convocation Fee to be paid by all final year students was reduced to N27,000:00 from N 30,000:00. Hostels fees were reviewed as follows: For undergraduate hostels in Akoka and Yaba campuses, the fees was reduced to N43, 000:00 from N90,000:00. For hostels in Idi-Araba campus, the fees was reduced to N65,000:00 from N120,000:00. The fees for Sodeinde Hall was reduced to N135,000:00 from N250,000:00.

”At the commencement of the meeting, NANS President highlighted the demands of UNILAG students as: Reversal of obligatory fees, reversal of hostel fees, and the reinstatement of Students’ Union Government in UNILAG.

Comrade Barambu observed that the absence of Students Union Government (SUG) in UNILAG had adversely affected communication between the students and management. He also noted that students would be able to channel their grievances appropriately through their SUG.

Professor Ogunsola enumerated the dire situation of the University in view of prevailing economic realities, and the struggle to meet its obligations to students, staff, and municipal service providers, among others.

She stated the university’s commitment to the actualization of measures put in place to ameliorate the impact of the obligatory fee review.

These measures include the Instalment Payment Option, Revitalisation of Work-Study Programme, Assistance to Indigent Students, Triple A Project, Pay for Mentors Project, scholarship opportunities among others.

The Vice-Chancellor also reiterated that “No UNILAG student would drop out of the institution due to fees”. She stressed that the aim of the university was to deliver quality education to its students regardless of class, tribe or creed.

The VC would commence the process of reinstating students’ union activities in the university as soon as possible.

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Suspended Dean Of Law Faculty, UNICAL, Files A Lawsuit Against The Vice Chancellor For Defamation



The Suspended Dean of Law Faculty, University of Calabar, UNICAL, Prof Cyril Ndifon, has filed a lawsuit against the lnstitution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi and two others for character defamation.

Recall that some weeks ago, The female law Students came out to protest over alleged sexual harassments and assaults from their Dean. Most students who were once his students also attested to the fact that the Dean has always been sexually molesting girls in the school as it has been his habit.

In a lawsuit filed before the National Industrial Court sitting in Calabar and which has UNICAL Registrar and Prof. Dorathy Oluwagbemi-Jacob as co-defendants, Ndifon accused the vice chancellor of colluding with the LAWSAN president (Unical chapter), Mr. Obi Benedict Otu, and with one of the VC’s nieces, one Destiny Omokiti, to stage-manage a protest against him, to pull him down.

He said;

“Shortly after the said protest, Mr. Otu issued a statement where he revealed that he deliberately hid his intention and real purpose of the protest from innocent students, who were freshers and upon thier concealment of purpose, tendered a public apology, that excerpt went viral at the social media.

“My right and freedom of movement to the University of Càlabar premises has been restricted and curtailed by order of the vice chancellor. I am gravely prejudiced on account thereof.

“To remove me from office as Dean of Law Faculty without any prior vote taken at a meeting of faculty of law board for purpose, constitutes a departure from the prescriptions of the University of Calabar Act.”

The university’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Effiong Eyo who has reacted to the lawsuit, said the institution only set up a panel to investigate allegations against the embattled Dean of Law Faculty.

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All Law Faculty Principal Officers Now Women – UNICAL’S VICE CHANCELLOR



The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, has said that the administration of the school has undertaken a “clean sweep” of the law faculty in response to the sexual harassment claims made against the faculty’s suspended dean, Prof. Cyril Ndifon.

According to the VC, all principal officers at the faculty are now women.

Obi made this known On Saturday’s Sunrise breakfast show on Channels Television.

She said the school management has put in place measures to curtail cases of sexual harassment between lecturers and students of the institution.

In a protest, some female law students at the faculty had accused Ndifon of sexual harassment.

The university administration then suspended Ndifon and set up a team to look into the accusations made against the accused law professor.

Commenting on the matter on Saturday morning, the vice chancellor said the panel constituted to probe the matter would do justice on it.

Obi said, “We have put up measures to see that, going forward, such occurrences are curtailed.

“You can’t completely eradicate sexual harassment in schools because it happens everywhere, every country. It does happen but the impunity, the serial abuse, the way and manner in which this is done, is where it becomes a problem.

“In my university, we have put up so many measures that we know, going forward, nobody in the Faculty of Law will hold students to ransom and make any female student so vulnerable to having an amoral relationship

“We have put about seven committees in place. There is a committee to assign students to supervisors because there are accusations that the suspended dean took all female students to supervise and that made them vulnerable to his advances. Now, there is a committee to handle that.

She added amongst many things she said, That they have made a clean sweep of the Law faculty, Which now has Women occupying the offices, From Acting Dean, to Sub Dean and Faculty officer.
All this is in a bid to keep students protected.

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