WASHINGTON, December 1, 2023 — A new World Bank-financed project aims to facilitate access to financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and improve Burundi’s business climate in order to boost economic growth and job creation.
The Burundi Jobs and Economic Transformation Project (JET) has been designed to meet the urgent needs of the country’s private sector. It will primarily target beneficiaries in the private sector and public institutions contributing to its development. The project will support key institutions in carrying out the reforms needed to improve the business environment, while fostering the creation of a core of dynamic companies through access to better productive infrastructure and technological equipment. It will also support processing and service companies, as well as a wider population of job seekers.
“The private sector is the engine of economic growth in Burundi, and this project will address some of the challenges it faces. Support to Burundian institutions is important to create favorable conditions for the development of the private sector so that it can foster job creation and economic transformation,” notes Hawa Wagué, World Bank Country Manager for Burundi.
Funded by a $100 million grant from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA)*, the project aims to improve access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those owned by women and refugees, while increasing job creation. The project’s success will be measured by the number of jobs created, the number of beneficiaries with access to financial services, and the amount of investment contributing to the application of climate resilience practices. It is expected to create 4,228 direct jobs and 113,000 indirect jobs, and to increase the existing number of jobs in the informal private sector by 15%.
Support for the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Burundi will be achieved through greater, more secure and less costly access to credit, made possible by the strengthening of credit infrastructures and the introduction of new bank guarantee instruments and digital financial services. In addition, the project will enable these companies to better integrate into local or international supply chains.
The JET project will be financed over five years.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero interest loans for projects and programs designed to stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve the lives of the poorest. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development activities in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years, with about 70 percent going to Africa.