Start-up from scratch? How entrepreneurship can generate sustainable development and inclusion in the Sahel
May 15, 2017 Editor 0
Also available in: Français
In a first for Africa’s Sahel region, entrepreneurs from Senegal to Chad assembled in Niamey, Niger, for the SahelInnov Expo last month to showcase their businesses and exchange ideas. From livestock to drones, all sectors were on display as a new generation of entrepreneurs and start-ups emerges with bold and innovative ways to address the challenges facing their countries and communities. Increasingly recognized as a strategic path to economic growth, supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs has a key impact on development and is generating more interest from governments in the Sahel.
Michaëlle Jean, the Secretary General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou, the President the Republic of Niger, and Almoktar Allahoury, the CEO of CIPMEN.
Photo Credit: CIPMEN
Hosting the event was Niger SMEs Incubator Center (CIPMEN) whose CEO, Almoktar Allahoury, lauded the initiative. “This is the first time all stakeholders have come together: entrepreneurs, public officials, investors, academia and development partners in one place to discuss the many opportunities and remaining obstacles for the private sector — this is just what we need to take the region to the next level.”
Indeed, entrepreneurship could be especially important for this extremely poor region, with half the population living below the poverty line. Burkina Faso and Niger, for example, are among the fastest-growing economies in the world, yet their GDP per capita are just $395 and $652 respectively, compared to the Sub-Saharan African average of $1,647. A vibrant and active entrepreneurial ecosystem would therefore not only boost economic diversification and improve productivity, it also could prove the vital lever to tackling two of the Sahel’s biggest challenges: youth unemployment and climate change.
The devastating combination of climate change, mass migration, trafficking and the rise of violent extremism has resulted in recurring humanitarian crises and massive food insecurity, affecting more than 20 million people across the Sahel in 2015. Enduringly high birth rates, furthermore, will require millions of jobs to be created to respond to the needs of a rapidly growing and increasingly young population. Institutional reach remains weak and a state of protracted insecurity has taken root over vast swathes of territory.
- Female Entrepreneurship: What Support Programs Should Do (and What They Should Avoid Doing)
- Treasure-Hunting for Women Entrepreneurs
- The changing face of entrepreneurship
- Celebrating entrepreneurship and agents of change in developing countries
- Evaluating the skills of emerging entrepreneurs in a developing economy
- Sparking Innovation in Post-Conflict Nations
Categories: World Bank PSD
The listening post: How Africa RISING technologies are improving farmers’ lives in Zambia and Malawi Dairy production systems and the adoption of genetic and breeding technologies in Tanzania, Kenya, India and Nicaragua
Subscribe to our stories
- In pictures: the 2019 Africa RISING Tanzania monitoring visit August 30, 2019
- Active Internationalization of Software Enterprises: Scale Development and Validation August 30, 2019
- The Manager’s Guide to Leveraging Disruption August 30, 2019
- Key take-aways from a recent Africa RISING exchange visit in Ghana August 30, 2019
- Device that recycles vaporized water from power plants wins MIT $100K May 28, 2019