The World Bank said it has approved a US$500 million loan to help eliminate inequalities in women’s education in Nigeria through the Youth Learning and Empowerment Girls Initiative (AGILE). The plan will be implemented in seven states in Nigeria. The World Bank noted in a detailed press statement seen by Nairametrics that the credit facility will be paid through the International Development Association (IDA), which provides credit for human development in developing countries.
Therefore, it is expected that the Girls Initiative (AGI) will help young girls overcome the special challenges that hinder their access to education. AGI is a public-private partnership that aims to promote the transition of adolescent girls from school to productive employment through tested and innovative interventions, which can be scaled up or replicated if successful.
“If nothing is done, 1.3 million girls out of the 1.85 million who began primary school in 2017/2018 in the northern states will drop out before reaching the last year of junior secondary school,” the World Bank said in the statement.
“Poor condition of infrastructure and a lack of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities makes it difficult for girls to stay in school. In addition, close to 80 percent of poor households are in the north, which makes it very challenging for them to cover the direct and indirect costs of schooling. All these factors have contributed towards limiting the number of girls that have access to secondary school.”
“There is no better investment to accelerate Nigeria’s human capital development than to significantly boost girls’ education. The AGILE project will enable Nigeria to make progress in improving access and quality of education for girls, especially in northern Nigeria. Addressing the key structural impediments in a comprehensive way will create the enabling environment to help Nigeria ensure better outcomes for girls, which will translate into their ability to contribute to productivity and better economic outcomes for themselves and the country,” said the World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri.”
The World Bank stated that the project will be mainly implemented in northern states including Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kaduna, Borno, and Plateau. Ekiti is the only southern country represented. The project will also enable girls to acquire skills such as digital literacy, life skills, and health education. The World Bank predicts that at least 6 million boys and girls will benefit from the project.