The African Development Bank launches the Youth Business Resilience Support Project in G5 Sahel countries

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The Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel, Ambassador Éric Yemdaogo Tiaré chaired on January 18 in Nouakchott, the launch of the Youth Business Resilience Support Project in the G5 Sahel member countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania , Niger and Chad), financed by the African Development Bank Group.

The launch ceremony took place in the presence of Raymond Besong, representative of the African Development Bank and the Vice-President of the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the G5 Sahel, Mohamed El Waled. It was followed by a three-day training workshop organized by the Bank for the project team.

The project is funded to the tune of US$4 million by the African Development Bank Group through the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund (YEI MDTF). Its implementation extends over a period of three years (2022-2024) and will be carried out by the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the G5 Sahel.

The project aims to build the capacities of 500 young business leaders (30 to 50% young women), improve access to public and alternative financing mechanisms, increase the productivity and income of microenterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of young people. It also aims to improve the institutional support framework for young microenterprises and SMEs, strengthen the resilience of these businesses to climate change, consolidate jobs and create new ones for young people.

“The Youth Business Resilience Support Project provides a specific response from the African Development Bank to young people who have seen their activities strongly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Raymond Besong. It complements two projects financed by the Bank in the G5 Sahel countries: the Multinational Support Project for the G5 Sahel countries, amounting to 22 million dollars and the Budget Support Program for the countries of the G5 Sahel. of the G5 Sahel, amounting to approximately $286 million approved in 2020″.

The Vice-President of the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the G5 Sahel, recalled the importance of this project and its particularity, particularly in the current context of the pandemic, and the conformity of this project with the strategy‑ Bank countries. “This ceremony marks the start of the implementation of this project which is in line with the economic recovery plans of the G5 Sahel countries which aim to support the private sector to cope with the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and align with the objectives of the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022) which aims to ensure inclusive growth in its member countries,” said Mohamed El Waled.

The Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel praised the excellent cooperation between his institution, the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the G5 Sahel and the Bank. He insisted on the expectations of the beneficiaries of the project with regard to the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic.

“Microenterprises and SMEs operating in the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic will be given priority in the selection criteria, underlined Mr. Tiaré. These are the sectors of tourism, hotels, restaurants, food processing, transport and crafts. In each country, 100 young microenterprises and SMEs will be selected to benefit from project support for a better impact on their activities, with a participation of 30 to 50% for women’s businesses. »

The project will enable the five G5 Sahel countries to have training modules for young entrepreneurs in key areas for the success of their businesses. The lessons learned from this experience will strengthen the knowledge base of governments, the private sector and the African Development Bank in supporting youth entrepreneurship.

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