Leveling the playing field for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa is one of FAPA's (Fund for African Private Sector Assistance) priority goals. To achieve this objective, FAPA donors have approved four projects worth US $3.9 million, bringing the total number of FAPA approved projects to seven and the cumulative grant amount to US $6.4 million since the beginning of this year.
"SMEs are the heartbeat of African economies. FAPA's solid track record in SMEs promotion through technical assistance demonstrates that positive development outcomes can be delivered by supporting SMEs in Africa," said Olivier Eweck, Director of the Syndication, Co-financing and Technical Solutions Department at the Bank, and Chair of the FAPA Technical Committee. He added; "the specificity of these approvals resides in their focus on sectors such as Textiles, Apparel and Accessories (TA & A) as well as clean cooking which are, for the first time, receiving funding from FAPA."
The Fashionomics Africa Digital Platform project received a grant of US $923,570 from FAPA, which is instrumental to kick-starting an improved ecosystem for job creation in the TA & A sector, targeting women and youth. Specifically, this project will assist targeted groups to access markets and financing, receive mentorship and further develop their entrepreneurial skills.
Prioritised under the New Deal on Energy for Africa, the Clean Cooking Industry technical assistance project of US $995,360 will be implemented in the following pilot countries: Cameroon, Ghana, and Kenya. The project aims to promote the growth of clean cooking solutions industry across its value chain.
The Entrepreneurship Lab project funded by FAPA to the tune of US $988,202 is part of the Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy as well as the Boost Africa program. This initiative helps address issues pertaining to youth unemployment in Africa. FAPA's investment will help secure further funding necessary for the sustainability of the whole project.
Lastly, the US$1 million FAPA grant for Botswana Economic Diversification project will support capacity building of selected business associations in Botswana. The project is also intended to assist business development service providers to improve delivery.