THE LATEST: Unlocking the potential of young people in Burkina Faso

Success Story
by Inoussa MAIGA, Directeur de MEDIAPROD

After trying computers and baking, Ali Cissé, 28, found his way with sewing.

“I chose sewing because it is a fairly well-known profession in my family. I have an uncle who has been practicing it for a long time “, explains the young entrepreneur.

He started his apprenticeship in 2014 and he has set up his own sewing workshop in 2019. He now has four machines and works with three apprentices.

“My specialty is mostly men’s tailoring,” explains the young designer, who sports a beautiful self-styled look.

“Our biggest challenge is that the clientele is quite shy. People in Dori prefer styles from elsewhere. We commonly hear people boast that the outfits they wear are sewn in Ouagadougou” says Ali Cissé, “but if everyone is only interested in what comes from elsewhere, how can we at the same time ask young people to undertake sewing at the local level?” he wonders.

This observation does not fail to draw a big smile from his neighbor, Djahouri Yarga, a trader in Dori. “Without the means, it is difficult to start a business. It’s a question of means” he says. “You have your little shop in the neighborhood, you’re doing pretty well. The merchant with whom you buy the products sees that you are fine. Since he has the means, he comes to open a big store in the same one where you are installed. You can’t compete with him”, he explains.

It was February 11, 2021, at the Sahel Regional Council when Ali Cissé, Djahouri Yarga, and around thirty other people including artisans, pupils, students, representatives of NGOs and associations, etc., participated in the information session on the Cultivons L’esprit D’entreprise (CLE) program. Also in attendance was also the general secretary of the Municipality of Dori.

In the Sahel region, many young people like them are working on businesses with real potential. Even though they sometimes have acceptable technical skills in their profession, they clearly need to develop new skills to better lead and accelerate the transformation of their businesses.

This is what the CLE program intends to do in the region. It will work so that young people like Ali and Djahouri can benefit from mentoring and join support networks to accelerate the growth of their businesses.

How specifically?

  • By shedding light on the paths of model entrepreneurs who can serve as benchmarks;
  • By organizing basic training in business management and ideation camps;
  • By facilitating access to finance to develop their activities;
  • By setting up a process for incubating and accelerating businesses.

CLE is a three-year program implemented by a consortium of four organizations (Tanager, La Fabrique, WakatLab and MEDIAPROD). It receives funding from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.