The overall goal of the five-year, CAD$15.9m (approximately 2.4 billion naira) YouLead project is to promote youth employment and entrepreneurship in natural resource sectors of agriculture, forestry, ecotourism and aquaculture in all 18 Local Government Areas in Cross River State.
High Commissioner Calderwood stated that: “Canada’s support to the YouLead project will help stimulate private-sector-led growth in Cross River State by creating the conditions to improve the responsible management of its forestry, agriculture, ecotourism and fisheries sectors. Efforts will focus on providing skills and entrepreneurship training for young people so they are better equipped to secure jobs, start and grow businesses in the country’s strong resources sector.”
Cuso International Chief Executive, Derek G. Evans, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Nigerian partners to promote job creation, sustainable development, and social equity by supporting growth in the small business sector and by providing skills training for young workers and tools for young adult entrepreneurs.” Mr. Evans added that Cuso International is grateful for the financial support and leadership provided by the Government of Canada.
The Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency, Senator Liyel Imoke, also recognized the value of Canada’s collaboration through sustainably and institutionally supporting a broad range of development centered reforms, programmes and projects in the state, particularly in the last decade, adding: “This project is in line with the Government of Cross River state’s vision to empower youth in the state, as part of its own human development strategy, which is symbolized by youth targeted programmes.”
Canada is recognized globally for its leadership on sustainable and responsible management of natural resources and is committed to helping Nigeria reduce poverty by improving the country’s ability to use and manage its own resources for sustainable economic development.