GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Youth and women entrepreneurs in Somalia will now have increased access to financial and technical support to boost their businesses thanks to a new pact by an African development funder and two financial institutions in the country.
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has signed a partnership agreement with IBS Bank and Dahabshiil’s MicroDahab MFI to promote women, youth, and agricultural producer groups. The programme is supported by the European Union’ Finance for Inclusive Growth in Somalia (FIG – Somalia).
“The AECF is pleased to have the IBS Bank and MicroDahab MFI as part of our transformational program in Somalia,” the fund’s CEO Victoria Sabula said. “We believe that this program will reduce challenges that non-bankable populations in Somalia face when they need capital support for their businesses. We also hope that this new access to banking services will provide financial freedom for women and youth in Somalia.”
According to the partnership agreement, the Finance for Inclusive Growth in Somalia (FIG-Somalia) program connect women- and youth-owned businesses and producers to financial institutions allowing them to access financing and technical support.
“It is envisaged that the FIG-Somalia program will reach nearly 8,000 beneficiaries and will create up to 4800 decent jobs; 40% of the program targeted beneficiaries are expected to be women entrepreneurs,” AECF said in a statement.
FIG-Somalia is a pilot programme component under the European Union’s Inclusive Local and Economic Development (ILED) programme, whose objective is to contribute to stability in Somalia by extending state authority and services, promoting local reconciliation and peacebuilding, creating inclusive economic opportunities and protecting the most vulnerable.
AECF is an African development funder that supports innovative commercial businesses in the agribusiness, renewable energy and adaptation to climate change technology sectors to reduce rural poverty, promoting resilient communities and creating jobs through private sector development.