The West African Development Bank (BOAD) will provide Benin with 3 billion cfa (about US$5 million) under the Crafts Industry Support Project, official sources said here Wednesday August 1st.
The project, aimed at promoting the crafts sector through organisational support and capacity building for craftsmen, will be launched in the next few days.
The project’s objectives include the provision of improved financial services for craftmen, registration of about 30,000 craftsmen in professional associations and capacity building for about 4,000 individual craftsmen.
It is also expected that the project will help create about 4,000 small businesses and 8,000 jobs, 50 per cent for women and youths alone, and provide access to financing of 2,500 micro-projects.
Despite its huge potential, the Benin craft industry is facing strong competition from imported products, often of lower quality.
The sector, which accounts for about 5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employs nearly 13 per cent of the active population.
In terms of job creation, the sector comes third after agriculture and trade, according to official figures.