Ambassador Tulinabo Mushingi
U.S. African Development Foundation
MoU Signing Event – Radisson Blu Hotel
December 14, 2019, 11:00 AM
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ahmadou Ba
USADF President C.D. Glin
General Delegate of DER Papa Sarr
Young Entrepreneurs and program alumni
Good morning. I am happy to be here with you today on the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States African Development Foundation – the USADF – and the Delegation Générale a l’Entreprenariat Rapide des Femmes et des Jeunes, or DER. This momentous occasion marks another high point in the nearly 60-year relationship between the United States and Senegal.
As the United States Ambassador to Senegal, one of my primary goals is increasing economic growth, trade, and investment to make Senegal and the United States more prosperous. The USADF understands this, too. That’s why it has been a partner with Senegal since 1986, working directly with communities through a variety of partnerships and programs. In the last decade alone, USADF has invested nearly 4.5 billion CFA in grant funding to more than 70 local businesses that have helped improve the livelihoods of 400,000 Senegalese people.
The USADF and I also share the view that there is no better way to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the future of Africa than through our investment in its most important resource – its people, and in particular its youth and women.
This past June, I spoke at the opening of the USADF’s second annual Youth Entrepreneurship Summit, held here in Dakar. This event provided an opportunity for young entrepreneurs from around the continent to exchange ideas, develop their business networks, and learn from each other.
Because of this focus on youth and women, DER is a natural partner for the USADF in Senegal. Through this five year, 12 billion CFA agreement the USADF and DER will work together to provide low-interest loans to Senegalese entrepreneurs, farmer cooperatives, producer associations, and small- and medium- sized enterprises. This support will help increase Senegal’s market competitiveness and positively impact individual farmers, organizations, and grassroots communities by increasing sales and incomes, boosting production, creating jobs, and improving livelihoods. In particular, this partnership is designed to help small business that have demonstrated progress but might be overlooked by commercial banks or investors get the support they need to make the next growth leap.
An old African proverb says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I am excited by the opportunities this partnership offers and look forward to seeing just how far we can go together.
Thank you, and congratulations on the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding.