Story: Agricultural entrepreneurship to lead socio-economic revival in the Central African Republic (en)
The International Trade Centre (ITC), the Pan-African Cooperative Conference and the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) have launched the rural component of the Promotion of Urban and Rural Entrepreneurship Program (PAPEUR) in the country.
Ahead of the second anniversary of the Central African Republic Peace Agreement of 6 February 2019, PAPEUR Rural aims to create sustainable jobs by supporting agricultural entrepreneurship and improving the productivity and competitiveness of firms in the poultry, maize, and palm oil value chains.
'This programme will encourage entrepreneurship actors in the private and public sector to contribute to the socio-economic development of CAR,' said Dieudonné Ouefio, Economic Advisor, diplomatic representative of the Central African Republic in Geneva during a PAPEUR workshop in Bangui in July 2020.
Jacques Kometan, Cabinet Director of the Ministry of Trade, added: 'It is our responsibility to ensure a permanent dialogue between the sectoral ministries and the technical and financial partners.'
PAPEUR Rural aims to strengthen the organizational, technical, and material capacities of agricultural cooperatives in rural areas, whether they are active or in the development phase. The programme will place particular emphasis on creating jobs for young people.
The programme will also support and promote concrete partnerships with private sector actors involved in transforming agricultural production by rural cooperatives, using a 'contract farming' approach based on commercial agreements between buyers and farmers.
It is expected that PAPEUR will support the signature of about 30 contracts between cooperatives and the private sector involved in agricultural transformation.
PAPEUR Rural will also promote reforms in the agricultural sector to improve the investment climate and facilitate strategic partnerships.
ITC will provide technical assistance throughout the agricultural value chains, from production to marketing and processing.
The Bêkou Fund, the first multi-donor fund created by the European Union, finances PAPEUR.
Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the European Union have pledged to invest nearly €300 million to help the country recover and stabilize in the wake of the 2019 peace deal.
With an overall budget of €15 million, PAPEUR is one of the 22 programmes adopted by the Bêkou Fund since its creation in 2014.