Successful in Senegal

Project description

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

Foto1_Touty Diop


Senegal is a young country with great potential, given that 80 per cent of its people are below 35 years of age. Renewable sources of energy 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, 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 so that they can have a future and thrive.

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The innovative use of renewable sources of energy in agriculture, trade and the service sector will open the door to new employment opportunities, business start-ups and higher levels of income. Training programmes will play a part in the rural electrification effort. GIZ and its partners will help young people to acquire expertise – including about digital solutions in agriculture – and use it to develop attractive professional profiles and sustainable business models. This will also boost self-esteem among these young people.

Certified training schemes and accelerated qualifications will facilitate rapid entry into gainful employment. The project will be supported by local offices in Senegal's regions. This will enable close cooperation with local partners in public administration, civil society and the private sector.

Cultural events, exhibitions and concerts will spark a dialogue about the possibilities of a successful future in Senegal. Resulting partnerships with the creative industries will open doors to international markets for Senegalese enterprises working in the fields of fashion, art and music and will also raise awareness of prospects at grass roots level.

On behalf of the Free State of Bavaria, the project has opened a Bavarian-Senegalese centre of excellence in the regional capital of Thiès. The centre is a venue for training and skills enhancement courses and promotes networking with industry. Public-private partnerships will support economic development in the region.


More than 5,000 professional opportunities have been supported since the start of the programme:

  • 2,170 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. 
  • 2,099 people have taken advantage of various training and skills enhancement courses on topics such as recycling, the bakery trade and mobile phone repair.
  • 368 Senegalese have benefited from active labour market measures, including training courses that address the most common mistakes made during job interviews and how to avoid them.

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