Supporting MSMEs Crucial to Enable Economy in Africa Grow Much Faster in Sustainable Way

Supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is crucial to enable the economy in Africa grow much faster in a sustainable way, according to African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD).

The African Union (AU) member states’ stakeholder engagement meeting for the 100,000 MSMEs initiatives underway in Addis Ababa today to discuss on its implementation.

It is to be recalled that AUDA-NEPAD launched the 100,000 MSMEs Programme to accelerate African economic transformation by providing the needed skills to MSMEs and build resilience against the economic shock triggered by the global pandemic.

The initiative seeks to build the capacity of one million enterprises in Africa through entrepreneurial and business training to improve access to finance and new markets while establishing networks for support and incubation to bolster their success.

Acting Head of Human Capital Institutional Development Division at AUDA-NEPAD Dr. Janet Byaruhanga said the program started as an initiative of African Union commission to reach one million MSMEs by the end of 2024.

“The idea is to support MSMEs that are struggling to access affordable and predictable long term financing for businesses. It is also to train them on understanding better how to do business in terms of equipping them with knowledge on business and entrepreneur skills and also creating a platform for them to network with each other.”

She explained that the target is to reach all 55 member states of the AU, however they have reached about 20 countries in terms of actual engagement with the member states.

Assistance Permanent Secretary at the ministry of industrial development of Mauritius, Akshaye Jeewoolall on his part said it is a great opportunities for all African countries of the AU member states and NEPAD to be participating and committed in this initiative to promote the growth of MSMEs in all the continent.

“The MSMEs contribute a lot in employment and in the GDP of each individual country in Africa. So, promoting them, helping them and upholding them is the must to each public and private institutions to uplift and help grow those MSMEs so that the economy grow much faster in a sustainable way,” he said.

One of the challenges that MSMEs face across the world including Africa is access to market and finance, he said appealing to financial institution to help them in various sectors.

Senior Partnership Manager at Afrilabs based in Abija, Nigeria, Felista Aku on her part said that MSMEs contribute directly to job and wealth creation in various countries.

However. she added that the MSMEs is facing various challenges ranging from capacity building, access to funding and market.

The African Union Development Agency NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) 100,000 MSMEs initiative is aligned with the AU Agenda 2063, which aims at building a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.

The initiative aims at supporting MSMEs in the continent with access to finance, capacity building, networking, introduction to new markets and procurement opportunities. It is also joined by strategic resource partners, Ecobank, McKinsey and Company, The World Bank Group, Microsoft, and UNDP, among others.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency