Senegal. A new network of entrepreneurs in the diaspora
01-08-2019 | di COOPI

Senegal. A new network of entrepreneurs in the diaspora

On Saturday July 20th, 2019, the Centro Interculturale di Quartiere (Neighbourhood Intercultural Centre) in Milan hosted the Round Table of the "Vivre et réussir chez moi - Local development and territorialisation of migration policies in Senegal" project, financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

During the meeting, 28 participants - including representatives of Senegalese associationsentrepreneurs, COOPI representatives and project partners - discussed the bond between diaspora and economic development in the regions of origin .

As Amie Mar, focal point of COOPI communication for the project, points out: "everyone turned out be very interested and this involvement ensured the success of the meeting, which led to a crucial result - the participants committed to create a network of entrepreneurs in the diaspora, in order to ensure a long-term sustainability of the activities started by COOPI, share experiences and best practices and explore new economic opportunities according to their areas of expertise.”

Participants also showed their enthusiasm during the two working groups scheduled for the day, which made it possible to deepen two main topics and highlight both strengths and weaknesses - the roles of local communities in the investment of the diaspora and the bond between the diaspora and investment support structures of local communities.

Among the main difficulties on both topics pointed out by the two groups, some of them stood out as much more urgent – a poor access to information for migrants who would like to know more about economic opportunities in their country of origin and a lack of an adequate monitoring and investment support programme .

At the end of the debate, participants came up with interesting solutions to solve the abovementioned issues, such as creating an updated and shared information system about new investment opportunities at community level and promoting training courses and technical support programmes for those who want to start up businesses in their country of origin.

Since 2004, COOPI has tackled migration issues in Senegal and Italy to strengthen the socio-economic capital of migrants in Italy and in the country of origin, develop and professionalize the diaspora and support a process of circular sustainable migration.

Our commitment continues thanks to the project of local development and territorialisation of migration policies in Senegal, aimed at enhancing the potential of diaspora associations and entrepreneurs and promoting economic and social initiatives that have an impact on the development of the communities of origin.