Clusters and its stimulation of professional organizations and the local economy
The UNIDO programme CLUSTER has been developed in 20 countries throughout the whole world. The programme includes a specific methodology for economic incentives for company networks. In Senegal, the approach was initiated through the Support Project for Small Enterprises (PAPES). The UNIDO programme consists of two phases. The Austrian Cooperation (600,000 USD) financed the first phase (2002-2005).
The first phase of the UNIDO programme offered great opportunities to professional sectoral organizations:
- Emergence of a strong private sector for micro, small and medium enterprises (30 business networks in three pilot regions: Dakar, Thiès and Saint Louis)
- Establishment of business networks, following the example of the self-promotion of the National Federation for Processing and Micro Wholesale Fish Merchants in Senegal (FENATRAMS)
- Establishment of intervention methodology training modules and a training school. Ten training modules were already created. Intervention methodology provides economic stimulation to local structures.
- Implementation of UNIDO’s approach into the decentralized economic system, in collaboration with the Support Programme for Local Urban Development (PADELU) of the European Union
- Implementation of the approach into the decentralized economic system supports economic urban micro activities
Within the framework of PADELU, the EU financed the second phase of the programme (1.3 million EUR). The second phase offered great opportunities for local communities (ten beneficiaries). Further, the second phase optimized and published the results of the first phase.
This new project achieved economic decentralization and the promotion of the local economy. It aimed at developing the economic stimulation capacities of the municipal authorities. It emerged a favorable business environment and encouraged the creation of wealth and employment. Moreover, it benefited from synergies between the Decentralized Financial System (SFD) and the private sector.
The MAEU/PADELU/UNIDO project, launched in March 2006, achieved significant intermediary results:
- Stimulation of economic activities in ten local communities (Pout, Louga, Dioffior, Yeumbeul, Passy, Nioro, Thiaroye, Sédhiou, Khombole and Guédiawaye), located six regions (Dakar, Thiès, Louga, Fatick, Kaolack and Kolda)
- Recruitment and training of 20 economic coordinators (two per community)
- Approximately 150 business task forces, mobilizing approximately 4,000 members
- Launch of technical and financial support actions for approximately 150 public projects
- Conception of a sustainable funding strategy/plan for the main beneficiaries’ projects
The major challenge of the MAEU/PADELU/UNIDO project is the impact and the sustainability of large-scale activities.
The PAPES/UNIDO know-how contributed to the Senegalese approach:
- Economic stimulation approach
- Conception and the diffusion of the approach handbook
- Creation of an economic coordination training center
- Institutionalization of the project while transforming it into a PAPES foundation (support platform for small enterprises)
- Capitalization and diffusion of support programmes for professional sectoral organizations and economic decentralization
- Development of new programmes for other specific activities such as youth employment
- Institutional entrenchment of the methodology and the approach in ten Ministries, where an actual need was identified (Handicraft, Small and Medium Enterprises, Women and Family, Fishing Industry, Agriculture and Stock-Farming, etc.)