AUDA-NEPAD’s MSMEs Initiative Launched in Comoros
"We are committed to supporting MSMEs' growth in our country and are confident this program is going to improve the entrepreneurial quality of our entrepreneurs and their enterprises vis a vis sustaining the performance of the economy of our country," stated the Chair of the AU and the President of the Union of Comoros, His Excellency Azali Assoumani as he graced the launch.
On July 29, 2023, AUDA-NEPAD launched its 100 million MSMEs initiative in Comoros. The initiative's delivery approach revolves around three pillars: the MSME Academy, Financing Support Programme, and the Marketplace. These pillars are designed to provide comprehensive support to MSMEs across the continent, enabling them to enhance resilience, access new markets, and leverage technology to tap into the vast African market, comprising 1.3 billion consumers.
The launch in Comoros presented an opportunity to introduce the initiative to policymakers, stakeholders, and potential partners who support MSMEs in the country.
Speaking during the official launch, Kossi Toulassi, Head of Industrialization, Trade and Markets at AUDA-NEPAD, explained that the team will spend three days in each city (Moroni, Anjouan, Moheli) to provide training to local entrepreneurs. “Going to the smaller towns outside of the capital is important as rural areas are often unlooked and small business owners aren’t given opportunities to benefit from these types of initiatives/programmes. Through these 3 pillars, we are effectively supporting MSME’s and addressing the most pressing challenges faced by entrepreneurs on the continent”, said Kossi
Prior to the main launch in the capital, Moroni, three business skills training workshops were conducted for MSME entrepreneurs in the country's three islands: Moroni on July 17-20, Moheli on July 21-23, and Anjouan on July 25-27. Over 200 MSME entrepreneurs attended the Moroni edition. The training covered essential modules on Business Management skills, Digitalization trends and techniques, Financial Management, and Stakeholder Engagement strategies.
President Assoumani expressed enthusiasm, citing that the launch and training would contribute to transforming the country and the entire continent. He emphasized the critical role of a strong, innovative, creative, and value-creating private sector in fostering development.
The President also encouraged young people who have chosen self-employment to fully commit to strengthening their businesses, highlighting their significance to Comoros' economy.
The training in Moheli was officially launched by the Governor of Moheli, H.E Mohamed Said Fazul, who expressed gratitude to AUDA-NEPAD for providing invaluable training to over 150 local entrepreneurs. He urged young entrepreneurs to launch their projects and businesses, encouraging them to explore opportunities beyond traditional government jobs.
Similarly, the Governor of Anjouan, H.E Anissi Chamssidine, stressed the importance of finding African solutions to Africa's problems during the final leg of the training on the island. He commended AUDA-NEPAD for the initiative and believed it would strengthen the working relationship between AUDA-NEPAD and the Comoros government.
AUDA-NEPAD aims to empower entrepreneurs in Comoros, particularly women, and youth, through the launch of the 100 Million MSMEs and business skills training. This empowerment is expected to enable them to capitalize on the opportunities provided by the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).