The Songhai Center in Porto-Novo works towards reducing youth unemployment and underemployment by training young people in organic agriculture, food processing, and natural resource management. It also facilitates access to land, seeds, and tools to allow young people to support themselves in their community and to prevent rural exodus.
The Government of Benin recently signed a funding agreement with UNDP for the amount of 51 million US dollars to strengthen and create new centers throughout the country. UNDP is providing additional funding of 1.5 million dollars as part of its 2009−2013 program.
|Depuis 1985, le centre Songhaï est un centre
de formation aux techniques agricoles et à l’élevage
qui a développé une approche assez originale
centrée sur le développement durable et la
priorité donnée à la réinsertion des jeunes
“In order to sustainably reduce poverty, Benin needs to achieve minimum economic growth of seven percent per year. This will happen only by increasing productivity and agricultural production,” stressed Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Benin.
Project Songhai will train 1,500 young people over a period of five years. “When they finish their 18-month training course, they know how to manage a business,” said Guy Louèkè, business manager of the Porto-Novo Center.