Successful in Senegal

Project description

Title:  Successful in Senegal
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-financed by: Bavarian State Government
Country: Senegal
Lead executing Agency: Ministry of Oil and Energy Sources
Overall term: 2017 to 2021

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Context

Senegal is a young country with great potential: 80 per cent of its people are under 35 years of age. The country enjoys almost 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, so renewable energy sources are opening up new opportunities for economic development. Only about 40 per cent of rural areas are connected to the grid, so funding for solar-based energy solutions in rural regions presents new business opportunities.

The country is also experiencing an upswing in its active start-up scene and its creative industries. Investments in special economic zones and ongoing economic growth are turning the Dakar metropolitan region in particular into an emerging hub.

Yet the job prospects of the young generation are poor, especially in rural areas – only about 20 per cent have a permanent job. The informal sector is the only source of income for many. Economic success is currently compromised by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many young people from rural areas are leaving home to seek their fortune in urban centres or in other countries.

Objective

Young people between the ages of 15 and 35 and returnees have new prospects for the future and for remaining in the country.

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Approach

Renewable sources of energy are creating new employment opportunities, business start-ups and higher levels of income in agriculture, craft trades and the service sector. The young population is supported in developing sustainable business models, benefits from dialogue opportunities and develops a greater sense of self-esteem.

Training programmes and courses of instruction promote rapid entry into employment. On behalf of the project, the consulting firms GFA and RENAC support training centres, technical schools and vocational schools, and Chambers of Skilled Crafts and Trades and Chambers of Commerce with implementing skills development measures for attractive occupational profiles. Partnerships with selected companies support economic development: in a development partnership with the German company Gauff, the project is implementing training programmes for solar technicians to play a part in the rural electrification of 300 villages.

The project operates across Senegal through five field offices. Together with local partners from public administration, civil society and the private sector, the project is reaching young people and returning migrants directly. The Teranga Hub, a centre for co-working and entrepreneurship, has been set up in Dakar. The project supports similar projects by other organisations in the country’s regions. Cofinancing by the Free State of Bavaria is creating prospects in the Thiès region: here, a Bavarian House (Centre Bavarois – Réussir au Sénégal) serves as a point of contact and event and training centre.

Cooperation arrangements with the creative industries are opening doors to international markets for Senegalese enterprises working in the fields of fashion, art and music and raising awareness of prospects at grass roots level. Together with the local partners, the programme is developing new communication channels and dialogue formats in which local champions present their successful business models.

In the Kédougou, Kolda and Tambacounda regions, the project is helping combat malaria by distributing impregnated mosquito nets and implementing measures to raise the population’s awareness of the network of clinics.

Results

By January 2021, the project had supported more than 22,200 professional opportunities:

  • 7,249 young people and returnees have attended training courses for start-ups. They have learned how to calculate budgets and write business plans and have studied the basic principles of successful marketing.
  • 10,351 people have taken advantage of training and skills enhancement courses in areas such as recycling, craft baking and mobile phone repair.
  • 1,099 micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have benefited from active labour market measures.
  • 3,089 young people have found a permanent job after participating in training measures.

Last update: January 2021

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