The Ivorian Minister of Commerce, Handicrafts and Promotion of SMEs, Souleymane Diarrassouba, announced Thursday in Abidjan the creation of an Agency for the promotion of SMEs “in the coming months”, during a ceremony of restitution of conclusions of the 6th edition of the National Promotional Days for SMEs and Crafts.
“The SME Promotion Agency we have also called Ivory Coast SME” will be set up “in the coming months and will be the focal point for small and medium-sized enterprises,” said Souleymane Diarrassouba in a speech.
It will be “the arm of the state to provide the development strategy of SMEs throughout the national territory and will work with organizations and factories,” he added. The minister also said that since June 12, 2017, the Ministry of Commerce, Handicrafts and Promotion of SMEs has launched a call for applications nationally and internationally to recruit the director general of this agency.
Diarrassouba also announced the setup of incubators for young entrepreneurs by the end of the year. This should make it possible to prepare future national champions in the country’s economic environment.
The Ivorian leaders who aspire to make Côte d’Ivoire an emerging country in 2020, have defined a National Development Plan (NDP) for the period 2016-2020. The total amount of investments is 30,000 billion CFAF, of which 11,643.7 billion CFAF for the public sector and 18,700 billion CFAF for the private sector.
The financing needs of SMEs in Côte d’Ivoire are estimated at CFAF 3,574 billion, or 21% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Ivorian SMEs contribute around 20% to GDP.
Promoting entrepreneurship: Ivory Coast and the Kingdom of Spain sign a collaboration agreement
As part of the implementation of an entrepreneurship capacity building program,
Ivory Coast SME (ACIPME) signed a collaboration agreement on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, with the Casa Africa Consortium and the Incyde Foundation, two Spanish structures. The signing ceremony of the agreement was chaired by Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Trade, Handicrafts and Promotion of SMEs.
“This agreement is a reminder of the excellent cooperation between the Republic of Ivory Coast and the Kingdom of Spain, with a view to inclusive development,” said Minister Souleymane Diarrassouba. According to the Director General of ACIPME, Salimou Bamba, this agreement will be translated into training and support programs for Ivorian start-ups and SMEs.
“The two parties have agreed to undertake, for 2018, initiatives to support the creation of businesses in the digital domain and also to define strategies that could accelerate the access of men and women entrepreneurs to the financial resources needed to development of their companies,” recalls Bamba.
Obviously, this convention is a real boon in the challenge of financing the private sector, particularly in the creation of Ivorian SMEs, which Ivory Coast faces. Note that the Casa Africa Consortium was represented by Luis Padron Lopez, its Director General, while the Incyde Foundation was represented by Javier Collado Cortes, its Director General.