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Youth Employment: AfDB Confirms Commitment

The African Development Bank (AfDB) confirms its commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and self-employment for the benefit of young Moroccans.

To this end, it has launched a new program, Souk At-tanmia, with the support of Danish cooperation. The kickoff was given from the region of Guelmim, chosen as a pilot area for the deployment of this initiative in Morocco. “This operation is conducted with the support and funding of our partners to help young people, women, associations, cooperatives and micro-entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life,” said Mohamed El Azizi, AfDB CEO for the region of North Africa.

“This program helps young people overcome the challenges of starting their own business,” said Nikolaj Harris, Denmark’s ambassador to Morocco. “This initiative will contribute to the promotion of employment in this region which has a very high unemployment rate,” said Mbarka Bouaida, Secretary of State for Maritime Fisheries.

The head of the AfDB reminds that this program has been launched in Tunisia since 2012 with encouraging results, with a low failure rate. A performance in comparison with what is happening for the development of startups, thanks to the innovative approach of the program, indicate the promoters of this initiative.

With a mechanism combining access to finance and targeted support, the Souk At-tanmia initiative, funded by the Danish-Arab Partnership Program (DAPP), represents support for entrepreneurship and business creation, is it explained.

The specificity of Souk At-tanmia lies in the fact that the program includes, for greater efficiency and synergies, the establishment of a national platform for coordinating the entrepreneurial ecosystem, add the AfDB officials.

In addition to Danish cooperation, this program is also conducted with another partner, namely the Regional Foundation for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise (FREE).

The latter has initiated a process of prospecting and selection of project leaders in the region of Guelmim Oued Noun. As such, the FREE has raised the awareness of more than 3,000 young people around entrepreneurship and self-employment with the pre-selection in a first phase of 300 project ideas.

Subsequently, the pre-selection of 45 participating projects in a second phase and the selection of 20 selected projects for the final phase that took place at the Guelmim meeting. Among these, a dozen projects were chosen for this phase of deployment of this program in Morocco. They aim to create businesses in various activities: waste recycling, production of biofertilizers, agriculture, smart cities …

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