The training completion by the fifth batch of PPEA trainees was marked by a closing ceremony at Songhaï center on Friday 22 April 2016. 

There were 330 youths including 70 women who have just been equipped to succeed in agricultural entrepreneurship. After 3 months of training on the various sites of Centre Songhaï in Benin, they received their training completion certificates. It is in the presence of a number of personalities including the Minister of State in charge of planning and Development and the UNDP Resident representative in Benin.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Pascal Tchiwanou, the project national director recalled that « the  Project for the promotion of Agricultural entrepreneurship for the Socio-economic transformation of rural areas in Benin (PPEA), aims at creating nine entrepreneurial incubation centers in the regions and the various agro-ecological zones in Benin, to take up the challenge of youth employment ». « This project being implemented since 2011 has trained 757 youths of which 128 women » emphasized Madam Odile Sorgho-Moulinier, the UNDP Resident representative in Benin. She has not missed the opportunity to draw attention on the fact that «Benin is still facing increasing challenges in terms of unemployment and underemployment which are the real threats to the achievement of the fundamental objectives in the fight against poverty ».  Madam Sorgho-Moulinier therefore called for an improvement of PPEA statistics.

For the Director of Songhaï Centre, Fr Godfrey Nzamujo, « from now on, we must know that the socio economic situation of a country today does not only depend on the natural resources or the geographic and the geologic data. Economic prosperity, energy supply, industrial capacity, personal and public health, security, the quality of the environment all depend now on knowledge », a knowledge that the center has and builds on. Songhaï is therefore, according to Fr Nzamujo, « an innovative platform for the building of the African human capital which should be inspired by this knowledge in order to face efficiently the development challenge in Africa. PPEA program comes as a solution to that challenge».

The Minister of State in charge of Planning and Development – Abdoulaye Bio Tchane – who chaired the ceremony, thanked the Songhai Centre and its partners for their efforts in the implementation of this program. Addressing the recipients, he indicated that now begins a new stage of their lives, that of their independence, autonomy and especially their contribution to the common building of Benin.

The representative of the new agri-entrepreneurs, Francis Gbegan, thanking the initiators of PPEA, expressed the willingness of the beneficiaries of the program to serve their communities. “We are ready for war” for development, he said. To assist them in the implementation of their projects, PPEA gives each of the trainees an immediate non-refundable financial help of Five hundred thousand (500 000) CFA francs. The assistance to the recipients also takes into account access to land, to set up their agricultural enterprises. And steps have been taken in this direction with the 77 communes of Benin; which also justifies the presence at the ceremony of Luc Atrokpo, Mayor of Bohicon and Chairman of the National Association of Mayors of Benin.


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