New prospects for the future and for remaining in Senegal
Title: Successful in Senegal
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing Agency: Ministry of Oil and Energy Sources
Overall term: 2017 to 2021
Senegal is a young country with great potential, given that 80 per cent of its people are below 35 years of age. Renewable energy sources are opening up new opportunities for economic development for the west African country, which enjoys almost 2,000 hours of sunshine per year. Only about 40 per cent of rural areas are connected to the power grid. Funding for solar-based energy solutions in rural regions is therefore a key to new business opportunities.
The country is also experiencing an upswing in digitalisation, in its active start-up scene and in its creative industries. Continuous annual economic growth of over six per cent and investments in special economic zones are turning the capital, Dakar, and the surrounding region in particular into an up-and-coming centre in the region.
At the same time, rural development remains a challenge. There is a lack of training and employment prospects for young people – only about 20 per cent have a permanent job. The informal sector is the only source of income for large sections of the population. Many young people from rural areas leave their homes and seek their fortunes in urban centres or in other countries.
Young people between the ages of 15 and 35 and returnees have new prospects for the future and for remaining in the country.
The innovative use of renewable sources of energy in agriculture, craft trades and the service sector will open the door to new employment opportunities, business start-ups and higher levels of income. The project supports the young population with developing attractive professional profiles and sustainable business models. In Dakar and other selected regions, the project has established incubation centres – the ‘Teranga Hubs’ – to support young entrepreneurs with setting up a business and formalising their companies. One of the effects of this is a boost to self-esteem among these young people.
Certified training schemes and accelerated qualifications facilitate rapid entry into gainful employment. The activities are implemented by the consulting firms gfa and Renac, which support training centres, technical schools and vocational schools, as well as other public and private institutions, with developing new training profiles.
Strategic partnerships with selected companies support economic development. In cooperation with the German company Gauff, the Successful in Senegal Project promotes training programmes for solar technicians who will play a part in the rural electrification of 300 villages.
Through five field offices, the programme organises activities in all regions of Senegal and promotes development in rural areas. Close cooperation with local partners from public administration, civil society and the private sector allows young people and returning migrants to be reached directly on the ground.
Cooperation arrangements with the creative industries opens doors to international markets for Senegalese enterprises working in the fields of fashion, art and music and raises awareness of prospects at grass roots level.
Cultural events, exhibitions and concerts spark a dialogue about the possibilities of a successful future in Senegal. Together with the local partners, the programme is developing new communication channels and sustainable exchange formats in which ‘local champions’ present their successful business models.
In the Kédougou, Kolda and Tambacounda regions, the project is assisting with the fight against malaria by distributing impregnated mosquito nets and implementing measures to raise awareness among the population.
By September 2019, the project had supported more than 12,200 professional opportunities:
- 6,414 young people and returnees have attended training courses for business founders, learning how to calculate budgets and write business plans, and studying the basic principles of successful marketing.
- 5,238 people have taken advantage of various training and skills enhancement courses on topics such as recycling, the bakery trade and mobile phone repair.
- 488 Senegalese have benefited from active labour market measures.
- 291 young people have found a permanent job after participating in training measures.
- 283 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises have been helped with founding or formalisation.
- A Bavarian-Senegalese venue for events has been founded in the regional capital of Thiès. This centre has established itself as a venue for training and skills enhancement courses and also offers dialogue events. At the same time, the close cooperation with the private sector allows networking with regional and Bavarian companies. The venue was developed and set up on behalf of the Free State of Bavaria.