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Saturday, 05 October 2013

Mozambique’s youth entrepreneurship project invests in future generations

MAPUTO, 5 October 2013 – Delegations from Angola, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, Rwanda and Uganda shared their experiences and best practices in the field of youth entrepreneurship changing the attitudes of young people and promoting development through entrepreneurship education. The conference “Entrepreneurship for Youth – Investing in future generations” drew to a close in Mozambique’s capital Maputo today.

The two-day event, held on 3-5 October, was organized by the Ministry of Education and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“By developing technical and behavioural competencies, entrepreneurship helps young people to better integrate in the labour market, create self-employment opportunities or continue their studies. It is a way to defeat poverty and develop the country with sustainability and inclusiveness,” said Leda Florinda Hugo, Minister of Education.

The ‘Entrepreneurship development for youth’ project was initiated in 2007 by the Ministry of Education, with the technical assistance from UNIDO and the funding by the Government of Norway. It aims to introduce entrepreneurship curriculum in secondary education of Mozambique. The learner-centred project contains visits to entrepreneurship fairs, enterprises and institutions, and allows students to do market research and to develop and implement business or social projects by themselves. To date, entrepreneurship as a practical subject has been introduced in 331 schools, reaching out to some 350,000 students.

Antonio Serrao Franco, Senior Economist of USAID, lauded Mozambique’s initiative to train the youth. “It is a young project and needs to continue and expand to create a critical entrepreneurial mass at the base. There is also a need to assess whether the business environment is stimulating or if it is creating hurdles to entrepreneurial initiatives and access to credit,” he said.