The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) will be launching its first Business Bootcamp for 100 SME’s in Africa on 4 to 6 December 2019 in Lomé Togo, in partnership with Ecobank. The Business Bootcamp is in line with the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson’s “1 million by 2021 Initiative” which aims to provide concrete opportunities for 1 million youth by the year 2021, in the areas of Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Engagement. The initiative aims to leverage strategic partnerships, build ecosystems of efficiencies and test new ideas to move the needle on youth development.
The opening ceremony will be attended by Fati N’zi-Hassane AUDA-NEPAD Head of Human Capital, Josephine Anan-Ankomah Ecobank Group Executive Commercial Banking. AUDA-NEPAD aims to contribute towards decent employment for Africa’s youth by supporting sustainable youth owned SME’s especially for young women. More specifically, AUDA-NEPAD seeks to contribute towards the AUC campaign by focusing on building the capacity of young entrepreneurs, engaging various stakeholders to avail sustainable financial mechanisms including the establishment of regional guarantees funds for youth and women led SMEs.
There is vast potential for African economic growth to be driven by SME’s and there is even greater potential in the African youth taking up this challenge. Ecobank, the Pan-African bank, believes in SMEs, not only as clients, but also as partners in driving social economic development. Ecobank, through its Academy and other business units, is working with the AUC on a number of initiatives to support SMEs and the youth attaining their full potential. The Business Bootcamp will train 100 SME’s on business and entrepreneurial skills, broaden their markets beyond their local markets toward regional trade. It will also contribute to sustainable SME’s through good financial management, increase SME profitability, business growth and expansion to create more jobs.
The 100 SME’s were selected through a rigorous application and assessment exercise to ensure there is full representation of all the regions in Africa.