AU, Ecobank Launch MSME Academy for Africa’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 


New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), a socio-economic flagship programme of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA), otherwise called AUDA-NEPAD, has launched the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Academy, in partnership with Ecobank Group.

Spearheaded under AUDA-NEPAD ‘100,000 MSMEs by 2021’ (100K MSMEs) programme for Africa’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the Academy provides easy access to practical training and resources on financing opportunities in various countries, materials on how to build digital presence for businesses and how to adapt business operations in the era of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

African governments have committed to support MSMEs at the national level. (Image source: Enhanced Integrated Framework/Flickr)

The platform would also provide access to market intelligence, a host of mentors with diverse experience, while assisting with access to funding opportunities.

MSME Academy has three components: an informational webinar with invited speakers; a series of virtual instructor-led training programmes;
and mentorship for MSMEs.


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The Academy has country specific content with world-class pan-African design to ensure the right balance between local realities (challenges and opportunities of MSMEs) with a structured pan-African approach for the sustainability and scalability of the initiatives.

AUDA-NEPAD Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, said: “In this continent where the majority of the countries are low income and middle-income economies, where youth account for almost 60 per cent of all of Africa’s unemployed, the contribution of MSMEs and informal enterprises to the GDP growth and employment creation is fundamental.

“As the continent faces the socio-economic uncertainties brought about by the outbreak of the COVID-19, AUDA-NEPAD MSME Academy which is delivered in partnership with Ecobank, aims to foster resilience and the survival of MSMEs’ in these critical times.”

To Ecobank Group Chief Executive Officer, Ade Ayeyemi, “The impact of the COVID-19 continues to be felt across Africa with serious challenges and uncertainties for our MSMEs.

“MSME Academy comes at an appropriate time to provide the right level of support to this vulnerable and important business segment in Africa. We have leveraged on the expertise of our globally recognised Ecobank Academy to develop country specific content tailored to MSMEs in Africa and therefore encourage MSMEs to register and participate in the various available virtual training programmes.”

Africa’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are invited to join the informational webinars to learn about tips on access to finance and on building digital presence from speakers.

Registration for the MSME Academy could be done via:


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Dates for the first wave of countries include: Ghana (August 21), Togo (August 25), Kenya (September 1), Nigeria (September 3), Côte d’Ivoire (September 8), Niger (September 15), Rwanda (September 17) and Chad (September 23).

AUDA-NEPAD is the development agency of the African Union, coordinating and executing priority regional and continental development projects to promote regional integration towards the accelerated realisation of Agenda 2063 – Africa’s vision and action plan.

Idowu Sowunmi