On 19 November last, the European Union and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) organised a technical workshop for training and exchange of best practices in inclusive finance projects in Banjul, in the Gambia. This three-day event saw participation by numerous development bodies from Senegal, Ghana and Guinea working on the projects of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, as well as local private companies and fintech start-ups.
The objective of this workshop was to initiate reflections on the best approaches to take to support the financial inclusion dimension in the various current and forthcoming programmes at macro, meso and micro levels. Among the activities proposed during the workshop were presentations on best inclusive finance project practices, field visits to projects funded by the Emergency Trust Fund and panels.
GRET was represented by François Faye, manager of the AjeSud project in Senegal, who presented the organisation’s experience in inclusive finance. The focus was placed on the lessons learnt from the project in terms of financial and non-financial support for young entrepreneurs, with a look back at three essential points:
- the necessity to place young people at the heart of the system in order to provide them with products and services adapted to their needs;
- coordination between financial and non-financial aspects to optimise the chances of success for young people’s entrepreneurial projects;
- and lastly, the importance of financial education.