Successful project kick-off in Burundi to support youth entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector


On 25 August the project “Strengthening the appeal of a bright future in agriculture to youth through entrepreneurship and innovation” was officially kicked-off with an opening workshop in Bujumbura. The official opening was attended by guests from different organizations such as CTJEBU, PAEEJ, CFCIB and BIJE as well as representatives from the Dutch Embassy in Burundi. During the workshop the project was officially launched and presented to the beneficiaries.

The opening remarks were delivered by the Executive Director of CTJEBU, who stated that though the challenges related to unemployment, the public sector and the private sector have been receiving a lot of investment to stand against this huge problem of unemployment. The way to go is still long and more effort has to be engaged bilaterally between the public sector and the private sector.

He emphasized that entrepreneurship is one of the key solutions against this challenge, it’s vital that all concerned parties should be involved and engaged to find a durable solution to a challenge that young entrepreneurs are undergoing while implementing their businesses.

He said that CTJEBU is quite aware that once we invest in youth farmers, there is a great potentiality of promoting food security, poverty reduction, jobs creations as well as peace and stability of our country and that it is in that context CTJEBU in collaboration with MSM want to strengthen the appeal of a bright future in agriculture to youth through entrepreneurship and innovation to make the food sector more attractive to young Burundians to contribute to jobs creation, food security and their self-development.

The Executive Director mentioned as well that MSM in collaboration with CTJEBU plan to hold training sessions on capacity buildings to key leaders who work in the youth sector namely; CFCIB, Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs in Burundi (CTJEBU), Economic Empowerment and Employment Program for Youth (PAEEJ), and Youth Investment Bank (BIJE). He concluded by thanking all attendees of the workshop and wishing them to have a wonderful and fruitful plenary session.

Promoting youth entrepreneurship through collaboration
The representative of the Dutch Embassy emphasized the importance of supporting and developing youth entrepreneurship and how the Dutch Embassy is actively involved. She shared that with this new project that MSM and CTJEBU are carrying out that the modules and teaching methodology are highly important but especially the key actors PAEEJ, BIJE, CFCIB, CTJEBU and other youth organizations active in youth entrepreneurship in Burundi are being brought together in an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

She rejoiced that the project comes at the right time because the contribution of the agricultural sector in Burundi to Gross Domestic Product is up to 40% and 80% of population in Burundi are farmers. The agricultural sector has an important economic potential that is still unexploited. She affirmed that to shift from a subsistence agriculture to market-oriented agriculture, we must meet the challenges related to lack of knowledge and the effective way is to provide youth with the necessary knowledge.

Officially opening the project
The project official opening speech was delivered by the General Secretary CFCIB. In his speech, he mentioned that youth with under 25 years old represent more than 60% of the population in Burundi and therefore the government has decided to take youth as a powerful tool to fight against poverty and he emphasized that in the National Development Plan 2018-2027, with the vision 2040 of an emerging Burundi and 2060 of a developed Burundi, the agrocultural sector occupies a strategic place. He highly welcomed this initiative of the Dutch Embassy in Bujumbura and MSM along with their experience in entrepreneurship and in agriculture.

The General Secretary stated that in Burundi, the culture of entrepreneurship is still undeveloped at all levels whether investors, leaders or youth and declared that this Tailor-Made-Training (TMT) project will allow youth to have access to financing thanks to innovative tools that will be proposed by the expert trainers.

He concluded his speech by declaring an official opening of the training sessions that will last 8 months and invited the participants to follow carefully the presentation of the project’s lead trainer that was going to be delivered by Alain NKURIKIYE.

Promoting innovation and entrepreneurship by looking at the core problem
The project presentation was delivered by Alain NKURIKIYE, MSM’s lead trainer in this project. In his presentation, he emphasized the partnership between MSM and CTJEBU to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Burundi. Furthermore, he explained that entrepreneurship always starts by figuring out challenges. One of the challenges in the agricultural sector in Burundi is a strong population growth, climate change and bad farming techniques. Based on these challenges, it will help to build business ideas to solve those problems therefore entrepreneurship has to start with problems not solutions. This is where the tailor-made courses of this project will come in. The project focuses on training the participants on;

  • Innovative idea development through design thinking
  • Access to finance and entrepreneurship policy to develop the right business environment and support entrepreneurs to in the long run promote economic growth
  • Strengthen public private partnerships for sustainable (local) economic growth
  • Female entrepreneurship and gender lens investing. Gender lens investing is an approach to investing that takes into account the economic, social, and environmental impacts of gender inequality. It seeks to invest in businesses and projects that have the potential to improve the lives of women and girls. Female entrepreneurship and gender lens investing are closely related. By investing in female-owned businesses, investors can help to empower women and girls, create jobs, and boost the economy.

Moïse YAMUREMYE, Executive Director of CTJEBU, started by appreciating how the launch event was innovative and instructive and he explained that how all modules combined together are quite complementary and quite crucial to sustain an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Burundi.

The launch event continued with discussions and recommendations on how entrepreneurship and innovation can support the agricultural sector in Burundi with a specific focus on innovative and driven youngsters.

The Project Team looks forward to a fruitful collaboration where we will share knowledge and skills to support Burundi's entrepreneurial development.

This project will be managed by Veerle Barten, Project Consultant at MSM’s Expert Centre on Emerging Economies and Alain Nkurikiye, Associate Consultant at MSM . The project will run from July 2023 until May 2024.

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies

This institutional collaboration project is part of MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.‚Äč We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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