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On September 4, 2015 in Abidjan, the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) grant agreement of US $947,625 (558.970 million CFA francs) with the General Confederation of Côte d'Ivoire Businesses (CGECI) to support and develop young entrepreneurs in Côte d'Ivoire.
The grant agreement was signed by the AfDB Vice-President Responsible for Infrastructure, the Private Sector and Regional Integration, Solomon Asamoah, and CGECI President Jean Kacou Diagou.
This grant is intended for 200 young entrepreneurs to be selected after a national competition, to develop their business plans and give them access to funding.
This project is one of the many AfDB interventions within the general framework of its cooperation with Côte d'Ivoire and its support for major national focus areas, particularly youth employment and the development of entrepreneurship.
Speaking after signing the agreement, Vice-President Asamoah welcomed the fruitful relations between the Bank and Japan that have resulted in the establishment of the funding which was, he said, "an opportunity for young Africans. Support for financial inclusion and entrepreneurship for young people is extremely important to the AfDB and will help them to turn their dreams into reality."
President Diagou expressed his gratitude to AfDB for its support, noting that by supporting young people the Bank was supporting the whole nation in innovative projects, helping them in this way to create small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that will become major enterprises. "It is important that many of the young people coming onto the labour market are now turning to entrepreneurship," he emphasized.
"The AfDB has set financial inclusion at the centre of its strategy for the development of the financial sector. This project, which will give 200 young people access to funding, will give the boost that is so often unavailable to the young people of our continent, who are not short of ideas or initiative," added Robert Masumbuko, Acting Head of the AfDB's Financial Inclusion Division.
The project was made possible through FAPA, a multi-donor thematic trust fund, provides grant funding for technical assistance and capacity building to support implementation of the Bank’s Private Sector Development Strategy. FAPA portfolio includes regional and national projects aimed at improving the business environment, strengthening financial systems, building private sector infrastructure, promotion of trade and development of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises. The Governments of Japan and Austria and the African Development Bank, are active contributors to the fund, which to date has provided over US $46 million to 57 projects across the African continent. Additional information on FAPA can be obtained from the following link http://www.afdb.org/en/topics-and-sectors/initiatives-partnerships/fund-for-african-private-sector-assistance/enhanced-private-sector-assistance-for-africa-epsa-initiative/ or by contacting email@example.com for specific requests.