Interview with Dominique Owekisa
Dominique Owekisa, project manager at ADA, tells us more about his new position in ANDE West Africa Steering Commitee.
You are a new member of the Steering Committee of ANDE West Africa. How was this nomination made?
ADA works to capitalise its experience with our microfinance partners in funding the youth (entrepreneurs). We wish to go further and are currently exploring innovative solutions for the funding of small enterprises experiencing strong growth driven by this youth in order to make them autonomous and viable. This work with pilot projects is essentially made in Central America and in West Africa. On the topic of youth entrepreneurs finance, I deal with this last region within the technical accompanying unit of ADA. When ANDE wished to renew its Steering Committee in West Africa few months ago, ADA was interested right away and seized the opportunity of presenting its application. I am glad that it has succeeded.
How can your intervention contribute to ANDE? Inversely, how can ANDE contribute within the framework of your MSE (Micro and Small Enterprises) projects?
Based in Nigeria for the West Africa Chapter, ANDE wishes to extend and consolidate the activities benefitting its members, with a particular attention towards French speakers in West Africa. ADA is a member of ANDE since a couple of years and today we wish to be more active within the network in order to share our vision of aiding young entrepreneurs and to participate more actively in the development & activities of ANDE in Western Africa. ADA being based in Luxembourg, we are also going to work towards mobilizing other members based in Europe that could contribute to the objectives of ANDE. In West Africa we have activities in French speaking countries that perfectly respond to the demand of extending activities of ANDE.
On the other hand, we are going to have access to a network of expertise within ANDE, which will enable us to consolidate the offer made to small enterprises with strong growth and thus opening the access to our partners with discussions between more mature entrepreneurs in countries like Ghana and Nigeria. It is a winning partnership-winning especially for young entrepreneurs.
Like I mentioned ADA is in a development phase of credit funding solutions and quasi capital, with key partners that know the realities in which the entrepreneurs develop their ideas. We have created partnerships with incubators in West Africa to this end, because they are able to accompany those young African entrepreneurs. But it is only the beginning: we have realised that those organisations require a specialised support themselves, to enable them to provide quality services to entrepreneurs. ADA is going to take advantage of the regional conference (West Africa) organised by ANDE at the end of July 2019 to host and moderate a session-with investors, aid and support structures-on the funding of enterprises with strong growth in Western Africa. This will enable us to adjust the proposals & activities of support and of funding, to share experiences, as well as to unite our efforts in the research of sustainable solutions in favour of entrepreneurs. This is only one example of an activity already underway. I am confident that in the course of the 2 following year’s mandate, a lot of things are going to be undertaken with the other members and colleagues of the Steering Committee in order to consolidate ANDE’s actions, essentially in Western Africa.
In 2016, ADA became a member of the ANDE (Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs) network, specialised in aiding small enterprises possessing a strong potential of growth and job creation. Since, ADA has made shared experiences and established partnerships with other institutions affiliated in Central America & Africa.
The West Africa section is composed of more than 50 members that work towards supporting the « Small and Growing Businesses - SGBs » 15 of those members have their headquarters in Western Africa.
Members take advantage of the occasion to establish links and to learn from other organisations sharing the same ideas. Moreover, they create links with the numerous regional and worldwide activities of ANDE, whilst working together to support the SGBs of West Africa.
The West Africa section is based in Lagos, in Nigeria and serves intermediary organisations in West Africa.
For more information about the activities of ANDE in West Africa: https://www.andeglobal.org/page/WestAfrica