The UNDP Moonshoot Program Aims to Empower 40,000 Young and Female Burundian Entrepreneurs

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The launch ceremonies of the Moonshoot program by United Nations Development Programme Burundi  (PNUD Burundi) in favor of 40,000 young and female entrepreneurs with the participation of banks like BIJE and BIDF as well as Paeej-Burundi took place on February 20, 2024 in Mutanga Campus of the University of Burundi. The ceremonies were enhanced by the presence of different authorities such as the Minister of Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism, Marie Chantal Nijimbere, the Regional Director of the UNDP Office for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa, the Resident Representative of UNDP Burundi, Mathieu Ciowela, the representatives of financial institutions such as the Investment Bank for Young Entrepreneurs (BIJE), Sixte Niyuhire, the Investment Bank for the Development of Women (BIDF), Ms. Marie Salomé Ndabahariye, the National Coordinator of PAEEJ, Dr. Désiré Manirakiza, the Rector of the University of Burundi Prof. Audace Manirambona, as well as other different authorities from different institutions.

 

National Coordinator of PAEEJ, Dr. Désiré Manirakiza. Photo by Andika Magazine

 

With the National Coordinator of Paeej-Burundi Dr. Désiré Manirakiza as the moderator and under the theme “Innovation and youth entrepreneurship, drivers of transformation and development to achieve sustainable development goals”, the panelists lead the discussion around the measures to be taken, to encourage and motivate young people and women entrepreneurs as well as the measures to be taken so that Burundi emerges in 2040 and develops in 2060 as it is with the vision of the country.

The General Director of BIDF Ms. Marie Salomé Ndabahariye explained how BIDF proceeds to encourage and support women’s innovation. “The BIDF provides loan to women in groups, cooperatives, businesswomen who are in entrepreneurship on an individual basis at a lower rate”, she says.

 

General Director of BIDF Ms. Marie Salomé Ndabahariye. Photo by Andika Magazine

She added that the bank supervises and strengthens the capacities of Burundian women in order to acquire the necessary skills to properly manage and make profitable the development projects.

“BIDF also supports and supervises women in the design of innovative projects, in the development of business plans while ensuring their supervision and support so that the set objectives are achieved and that the loans are given be reimbursed so as to give to loans other women”

The bank also organizes women’s awareness campaigns on female entrepreneurship just to break the economic barriers that prevent them from developing and contributing to the country’s economy in order to reach an emerging Burundi in 2040 and a developed Burundi in 2060.

 

General Director of BIJE, Sixte Niyuhire. Photo by Andika Magazine

“There are some financial institutions and programs put in place by the government of Burundi to facilitate youth entrepreneurship. The Youth Investment Bank was created in this section to encourage young people to innovate, invest, and create jobs for themselves and for others. This is also in line with granting loans to young people throughout Youth Economic Employment and Empowerment Program as well as other banks established by the government to facilitate youth and women entrepreneurs”, explains the General Director of BIJE, Sixte Niyuhire.

 

The Assistant Secretary-General and Director of United Nations Development Programme – UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa. Photo by Andika Magazine

The Assistant Secretary-General and Director of United Nations Development Programme – UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa Ahunna Eziakonwa declared that a country whose goal is to be emerged by 2040 and developed has 4 things that must be done for sustainable development such as inclusive and uncountable governance (regulated environment conducive to innovation), population of competent young people (young people, women and men without any discrimination, residents of Bujumbura and residents of rural areas) as long as young people constitute the majority of the population, the investment in women and the integration of digital technologies that help to develop faster and overcome certain challenges.”

 

After the panel’s discussion, there was the signing of agreements between PNUD Burundi, financial institutions and Paeej-Burundi.

Minister of Commerce, Transport, Industry and Tourism Marie Chantal Nijimbere. Photo by Andika Magazine

In her closing remarks, the Minister of Commerce, Transport, Industry and Tourism Marie Chantal Nijimbere informed the young people that they are there to promote, innovate to provide solutions that will respond to the problems of the community and of all the population in general. She mentioned that the government is ready to accompany but also support young people so that they change mindsets and use their knowledge in an innovative way through research, proper use of the internet, change behaviors and have entrepreneurial mindsets. “The government is also strengthening the link between technology, innovation, financing and access to markets so as to integrate innovative young people into the entrepreneurship process”, she completes.

 

Visit of the stand. Photo by Andika Magazine

The ceremonies were closed by visiting the stands where the young people were exhibiting and explaining their innovative projects.

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