WASHINGTON, May 24, 2021— The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved on Friday a $125 million financing to support Senegal to improve the competitiveness of selected value chains, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) capabilities, and private sector investment in the country. This amount will finance the Government Program “Accelerate Competitiveness and Job Creation Program.”
According to Amadou Hott, Minister of the Economy, Planning, and Cooperation for Senegal, “the Senegal Jobs, Economic Transformation & Recovery Project is in line with our Plan Senegal Emergent Priority Action Plan- Adjusted and Accelerated, an ambitious and realistic development program aiming to strengthen the competitiveness of the private sector, increase investment in strategic sectors, achieve economic reforms and improve infrastructure. It strengthens the Emergency Program for Socio-Economic Integration and Youth Employment."
This project aims at supporting Senegal’s resilient economic recovery from COVID-19 by operationalizing the Jobs and Economic Transformation (JET) agenda. “ Senegal has recently faced several challenges brought by the COVID crise. In this context, this project supports the creation of more and better jobs by improving private sector’s competitiveness and productivity, access to long term finance and investment, and more sustainable infrastructure”, said Nathan Belete, World Bank Country Director for Senegal.
The Senegalese economy has been impacted by COVID-19 through several channels. According to Meriem Ait Ali Slimane, Laurent Gonnet, World Bank Project Task Team Leaders, “to stimulate economic recovery and build back better, it will be important to strengthen the competitiveness of key sectors, with a focus on exports, improve MSMEs productivity and technology adoption, and introduce performant financing mechanisms such as partial credit guarantees and public-private equity funds.”
The program will support both small informal firms and more formal SMEs through dedicated channels such as partial credit guarantee scheme (through FONGIP) access to long term finance (through FONSIS), and matching grants for technology adoption and productivity upgrading (through ADEPME) as well as value chain-level competitiveness reinforcements (led by the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Cooperation), inclusive of all types and sizes of firms participating in the value chains.
The Senegal JET project will support increased exports, and MSMEs’ productivity and technology Adoption. The project will have a particular focus on access to finance, in the form of loan guarantees and equity, with targets for women-led businesses.