Academy targeting Africa’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises launched
The African Union Development Agency AUDA-NEPAD has launched the MSME Academy, in partnership with Ecobank Group.
In a statement, the Agency says the Academy is aimed at providing easy access to practical training and providing resources on financing opportunities in various countries.
The Academy, which is spearheaded under the AUDA-NEPAD “100,000 MSMEs by 2021” programme for Africa’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, will also provide materials on how to build a digital presence for businesses and how to adapt business operations in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The platform will also provide access to market intelligence, a host of mentors with diverse experience while assisting with access to funding opportunities.
The MSME Academy has three components which are an informational webinar with invited speakers; a series of virtual instructor-led training programmes and mentorship for the MSMEs.
AUDA-NEPAD Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki said the Academy has country-specific content with world-class pan-African design to ensure the right balance between local realities (challenges and opportunities of the MSMEs) with a structured pan-African approach for the sustainability and scalability of the initiatives.
The first wave of countries includes Kenya, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Rwanda, and Chad.
“In this continent where the majority of the countries are low income and middle-income economies, where youth account for almost 60% of all of Africa’s unemployed, the contribution of MSMEs and informal enterprises to the GDP growth and employment creation is fundamental. As the continent faces the socio-economic uncertainties brought about by the outbreak of COVID-19, the AUDA-NEPAD MSME Academy which is delivered in partnership with Ecobank, aims to foster resilience and the survival of MSMEs’ in these critical times,” he said.
Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO, commented: “The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across Africa with serious challenges and uncertainties for our MSMEs. The MSME Academy comes at an appropriate time to provide the right level of support to this vulnerable and important business segment in Africa. We have leveraged on the expertise of our globally recognised Ecobank Academy to develop country specific content tailored to MSMEs in Africa and therefore encourage MSMEs to register and participate in the various available virtual training programmes.”