Benin: strengthening young people’s economic situation
High youth unemployment
In Benin, the employment problem lies especially in high youth unemployment. Yet young people play an essential role in the country’s socio-economic life. Not to mention that the far northern region of Benin is plagued by the presence of armed groups who recruit young people with the aim of radicalising them. The creation of a large number of decent jobs for young men and women in the region has therefore become a priority.
“The goal of full employment and decent work, ranked eighth among the UN Sustainable Development Goals, is imperative in Benin.”
Goal: 165 independent young people
The ‘Osez entreprendre’ project is part of the ongoing dynamic of the project to promote young people’s entrepreneurship and support the cashew industry (PESoC). It’s focused on support to the entrepreneurship of young men and women in the municipalities of Natitingou and N’Dali in northern Benin.
The project aims to support entrepreneurial initiatives in industries identified as promising niches: agro-ecological market gardening, soya, cassava, cashew, honey and cattle breeding (pigs, small ruminants and poultry). In total, 165 young people will be supported over the next three years.
The project is based on a process in three phases:
1) Identifying and selecting young people and strengthening their skills: these young people are first trained on entrepreneurship and drawing up business plans then courses in plant production techniques (market gardening, cassava, soya), breeding techniques (poultry, pigs, small ruminants, apiculture) and agri-food processing techniques.
2) Mechanism to support the setting-up of their production units: the project supports the setting-up of young people and bio-fertiliser production units. The young people improve their management skills and learn to increase the visibility of their products. To do so, they are trained on digital marketing and business management tools. And they attend various fairs and business events.
3) Coaching and assessment throughout the development of their entrepreneurial initiatives.
Impact on socio-economic life
Overall, the project will help improve young people’s economic situation, more specifically women, in the following areas of intervention:
- Setting-up, coaching and launch of 165 new economic initiatives.
- Improvement of economic conditions through access to remunerative markets
- Healthy improvement of the quality of products consumed by households.
- Strengthening of the credibility and membership of Village Credit and Savings Associations (AVEC) already in place
- Diversification of funding sources to strengthen young people’s economic initiatives.
- Maintenance of a climate of security in the Atacora area, where young people will no longer be an easy target for recruitment by armed groups.
“This support scheme will enable young people to become models in their village or municipality.”
Long-term ongoing training
Then, young people who have benefited from the project will act as models in their region. This will encourage other young people to be trained by them. After their training, they can also collaborate with the young people who are already set up to improve, serve as labour or business introducers, or develop collective projects.
Eclosio and ANaF-Bénin which constantly work in the project area will act as intermediaries between young people aspiring towards entrepreneurship and young people who are already set up.
Industry project for more sustainable cashew nuts
Boni cashew nuts for sale in Colruyt Lowest Prices shops come from Benin. Colruyt Group launched an international industry project there in 2019 in collaboration with the Belgian development agency Enabel. And we work there with an organisation bringing together 158 local cashew nut farmer cooperatives as well as a local processing company.Find out more about this industry project: