AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: SILENTLY EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS

afdbOrganizations that advocate for African and regional unity are usually in the news for all the wrong reasons. The first example that comes to mind is the recent appointment of Robert Mugabe as Chairman of the African Union. However the African Development Bank is making a real impact on the continent, and slowly but surely they are ensuring that Africa rises to its full potential the right way. Formed on August 4th 1963, its statutory headquarters are in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. With over 70 members both within the African continent and beyond, currently led by Donald Kaberuka the African Development Bank is building foundations for which will serve as a reliable cornerstone for many African entrepreneurs.

In accordance with their mission to “spur economic development,” the institution has dedicated a large portion of their resources to achieving this goal in many parts of the continent; namely in Mozambique where they are implementing their Skills Development for Entrepreneurship. The focus of the project being to empower growth oriented SME’s with financial and non-financial support thus enhancing their impact to the country’s economy and overall productivity. Firstly the main reason that Mozambique was chosen as the location of this project is because of the government initiative to reduce poverty in the country from 54.7% in 2009 to at least 42% this year. It is a well-known-fact that the single biggest challenge that entrepreneurs face is funding. Mozambique currently has an unemployment rate of 18% if this project does all that it needs to this number will undoubtedly decrease. Once these SME’s that are receiving funding from the African Development Bank employ more people, the results will speak for themselves.

mozambiqueAdmittedly Mozambique in comparison to other African nations has a low unemployment rate and to many a project such as this might seem misguided. However the real value of this project lies in its results. If correctly implemented similar projects could be implemented across other African countries such as Kenya which has an unemployment rate of 42% or Senegal which is struggling with an unemployment rate of 48% or eventually Zimbabwe which has a staggering unemployment rate of 70%. By using the principle of tunnel vision for Mozambique other African countries will indisputably benefit in the near future, ensuring that Africa rises together.

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