World Bank allocates €13 million to SME development in Gabon
The World Bank has approved a funding of $18 million (€13 million) to help Gabon diversify its economy and reduce poverty by promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).The World Bank has approved a funding of $18 million (€13 million) to help Gabon diversify its economy and reduce poverty by promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The loan, provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), is intended to promote investment and competitiveness.
According to estimates by the World Bank, this initiative is expected to benefit 25,500 Gabonese in terms of job creation and new skills, by the end of the project in 2019.
It will include the creation of a single window for businesses and the establishment of a simplified registration system based on an online electronic database. It also includes technical assistance as well as training of the personnel involved with the business register.
Director of operations for Gabon at the World Bank Gregor Binkert said that although the country has experienced strong economic growth, driven primarily by oil and manganese production, the unemployment rate remains at 16 percent, with young people and women being the first victims.
The project "specifically targets these two population groups and promotes conditions conducive to SME development. As such, it supports the creation of a business center for women that aims to provide advice and training and facilitate their access to markets," he said.