Senegal: the DER, an example to be duplicated in Africa according to the Managing Director of the IMF

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Visiting Senegal, the Managing Director of the IMF was welcomed on Saturday December 11 at the headquarters of the Delegation for Rapid Entrepreneurship (DER / FJ) of women and young people. Setting the scene, the Minister Delegate for the DER / FJ, Pope Amadou Sarr first recalled the economic situation in Senegal. The country is counting on growth of 5.1% in 2021 and a projection of 10.8% in 2023. “We are heading towards emergence irreparably,” said Pope Amadou Sarr. And to present to the Director of the IMF this innovative structure created in 2017 under the leadership of President Macky Sall. The principle of the DER / FJ is simple: find short resources at low rates (less than 5%) to include young people and women. Speaking first in French and then in English, after a remarkable “I love Senegal in” in Wolof, the IMF DG welcomed the birth of such a structure intended for categories often excluded by the traditional banking sector. . “We cannot talk about development without a special focus on young people in a country where 60% are under 25”.

And Kristalina Georgevia continued: “Entrepreneurship is a solution to employment but also to innovation in new technologies and artificial intelligence. And innovation is associated with young people ”.

In Africa, where 20 million young people enter the labor market each year, jobs and especially good jobs are needed, insisted the IMF director, noting that only 10% of this mass actually finds work. Engaged in a rather participatory approach, the Breton Wood institution recommends that Senegal create a larger formal economy to provide basic social services. “It goes through the payment of taxes,” insisted the director of the IMF. “Senegal must be an inclusive formal economy,” she said.

Addressing the international situation, the director of the IMF noted that for the first time in decades, the convergence between developed and developing countries is interrupted.

“This divergence prompts us to pay more attention”, she continues, recalling that Senegal is rather on a high growth range in the context of a sub-Saharan Africa with an average growth of 3.7% but below growth. worldwide by 5.9%.

The IMF very quickly diagnosed the crisis born from the Covid-19 pandemic. The SDR issuance has allocated $ 36 billion to 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa in an unprecedented effort. Senegal received

1 billion dollars of SDR within the framework of this global program of 675 billion dollars which concerned the 190 member countries of the IMF. “What Senegal has received is not debt,” said the IMF CEO. “This is support that boosts the country’s reserves to enable it to borrow on good terms and to finance programs such as vaccination campaigns.”

For his part, Pape Amadou Sarr returned to the various counters of the DER, from Nano-credits (commitments between $ 1,700 and $ 5,000) to SMEs (up to $ 8,500) and training programs dedicated to entrepreneurs.

In three years, the DER has allocated more than 68.7 billion CFA francs to finance more than 3,996 businesses and train 3,732 beneficiaries nationwide, revealed Pape Amadou Sarr. Overall, 130,542 credits were granted and 3,070 economic units formalized.

Following Pape Amadou Sarr, innovative companies receiving funding from the DER gave testimonies. These include Bamba Lo (Paps), Sophie Zinga (Dakar Design Hub), Aziz Yérima (PayDunya), Boussoura Talla Guèye (SetTIC), Yaye Souadou Fall (E-Cover), Faye Ely Manel (Solutroniq), Africa Smart Citizens SAS and Abdou Bakhy MBACKE (Ciprovis).

The final word went to the DG of the DER to say that education remains the best weapon for social inclusion. At the end of a rich visit where she hosted a joint press conference with President Macky Sall, future current president of the African Union, who reminded her of the request of African heads of state for an additional reallocation of 100 billion US dollars from SDRs to Africa, Kristalina Georgevia leaves Dakar with positive impressions of a continent in transformation and of an effective inclusion structure, the DER / FJ, which must be duplicated in other countries of ‘Africa.

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