Kenyan Officials Attend Training Session on SME Policy in South Korea

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The African Development Institute (ADI) organized a second session of the African Officials Invitation Training Program on SME Policy in Seoul, South Korea recently. Fifteen Kenyan officials from the Ministry of Industrialization, Industrial Training Institute, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Trade, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya Industrial Estate Limited and the University of Nairobi attended the workshop. The ADI organized the first training session for 15 Tanzanian officials in May.

The main objective of the program was to capture success stories in SME policy in South Korea, and share the knowledge and skills gained in enhancing development of the SME sector in that country. In addition, Kenyan officials heard how to effectively tackle challenges in SME promotion through case studies and lessons learned in South Korea. Other focus areas included the study of credit guarantee systems, industry-university cooperation, strategic mechanisms of financing SMEs, technology parks and linkage with SMEs.

Organized in cooperation with Korea’s Small Business Training Institute, the workshops were led by high-calibre professors, some with more than 25 years of experience in training and the field of SMEs. The session provided opportunities for participants to learn more about the culture of Korean SMEs, as well as to exchange views and best practices. Lessons learned concerned mainly the heavy government intervention in the development of SMEs in Korea; the country’s strong entrepreneurship culture; the strategic use of a credit guarantee fund to help SMEs obtain financing; and strong ownership and management structures. Mr. Djibril Diallo, Principal Training Officer with the African Development Bank’s African Development Institute and Task Manager of the Korea Africa Economic Cooperation Trust Fund, attended the workshop and shared his expertise with Kenyan officials as well as the Korean professors.

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