The fifth batch of beneficiaries of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Promotion Project (PPEA) started their training on Thursday, January 21, 2016. The official launching of the training in agricultural entrepreneurship was made by the Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou.

For this event, the Songhai Regional Centre in Porto Novo, apart from the Prime Minister, welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Family Affairs, the Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the principal private Secretaries of the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, Decentralization, respectively representing their ministers.

According to Lionel Zinsou, agriculture is the supplier and the customer of a large number of economic activities; as it needs services, it needs a downstream industry (processing) and an upstream industry (production). For the Government of Benin, according to the Prime Minister, “Songhai is always a bit of a showcase of Benin; all that can be accomplished in Benin “. So, the trainees of the fifth batch of PPEA should be proud to go through such a center of excellence and make the most out of its training framework offering new technologies.

Going on the same line as the Prime Minister, Fr Godfrey Nzamujo, Director of Songhai Centre, presented the four components that make Songhai an innovative institution which helps the emergence of a new type of human resources that can actually reverse the underdevelopment trend and return to the logic of development and self-promotion. These are the Technology Park, Industrial Park, the incubation center and service center. The first component helps trainees to appropriate the necessary tools and technologies for a large-scale and quality production, in full respect of the environment; the second and the third components offer the adequate learning environment for experimentation and application. Finally the fourth component helps to create favorable and incentive frameworks in partnership with Government, the United Nations system or other agencies to support the graduates in the process of creating their businesses. Songhai training is therefore a privileged and very exciting adventure that requires a good will, determination, courage and sacrifice, Fr Nzamujo told trainees.

With a total number of 361 trainees of which 80 women, they have a three-month training program. They have been recruited throughout the country in December 2015. The training takes place on Songhai sites in Porto Novo, Parakou, Lokossa, Savalou and the Songhai Agricultural Entrepreneurship Promotion Centres (CPEAS) in Kétou and Zangnanado.


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