The United Nations agency tasked with helping the rural poor has announced it will provide more than $16 million for a programme in Burkina Faso that aims to help thousands of young people and women in the landlocked West African nation develop non-farm enterprises.
Under the scheme, 60 rural enterprise resources centres will be set up across Burkina Faso to serve as contact points for budding entrepreneurs and help them gain access to resources necessary for starting businesses, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced yesterday.
These would-be entrepreneurs will have access to vocational training, technology and business development services, according to a press release issued from IFAD’s headquarters in Rome.
The agency described Burkina Faso as one of the best-placed West African nations for rural micro-enterprises: its population has a reputation for being hard-working and ingenious in exploiting the meagre amount of natural resources in the country.
Overall, the programme – comprised of an $8 million grant and an $8 million loan – is targeting an estimated 12,000 micro-enterprises, with a particular focus on women and young people.
With this scheme, IFAD has now funded 12 different projects in Burkina Faso for a total cost of nearly $160 million.