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International Partnerships

Bêkou Fund - Entrepreneurship and Employment

The Central African Republic has one of the lowest GDPs in the world. Per capita wealth has been halved since 1960. In 2018, more than 70% of its population lived below the poverty line.

The Central African economic fabric has not been spared by the successive crises that the country has experienced. Economic actors have seen their production tools looted and their supply and marketing chains destructured.

The Central African private sector suffers from systemic weaknesses, including a lack of training and a climate that is not conducive to business - the country ranks 184th/190th in the Doing Business 2020 ranking. A major constraint is also the weakness of the financial sector. Entrepreneurs find it difficult to access credit and cannot make the investments that are essential to sustain their activities and improve their profitability. This is particularly true for economic actors operating outside the capital Bangui.


In order to revive the economy, the main productive sectors need to be supported, particularly agriculture. This is indeed a strategic sector as it represents 55% of GDP. Thus, in addition to supporting family farming, the Bêkou Fund has gradually supported the emergence of promising value chains.

In addition, to accelerate entrepreneurship and employment, the Bêkou Fund assists local economic actors, supports microfinance and develops the infrastructure needed to boost economic activities.

The Fonds Bêkou is directly involved in the third pillar of the national recovery and peacebuilding plan (RCPCA): 'ensuring economic recovery and the revival of productive sectors'.

Priorités d'action

In 2015, the Bêkou Fund launched an 'economic recovery' programme. In 2019, it adopted a new programme to support the promotion of entrepreneurship in urban and rural areas (PAPEUR). Finally, in 2020, a second phase of the rural development programme has been adopted; it is targeted at "agropoles".

Through its various programmes, the Bêkou Fund intervenes at the three levels of micro, meso and macro and thus strengthens not only the resilience of communities but also that of the state.

“In our association 'la main dans la main', we make soap. We do individual businesses. We used to mobilise without knowing where to go, but the NGO Danish Refugee Council (DRC) trained us on the Village Savings and Credit Association (VSCA) and we are now doing savings. These transactions are similar to banking transactions. We can borrow money and do our business and pay back later. And so we generate profit before we pay back the loan. AVEC allows us to take care of ourselves; this has enabled us to pay for our children's schooling and to meet our personal and health needs.” Alima DJAMALADJI, President of the association 'la main dans la main'.

Main ongoing projects

  • The "Support Project for the Microfinance Sector in the Central African Republic (PASM RCA)" is led by AFD with the organisations IRAM and Echelle. It targets microfinance institutions. It strengthens them and supports them in the implementation of new financial products for SMEs and Village Savings and Credit Associations (VSCA).
  • The Belgian cooperation agency is developing the "Opening up prospects for the future" project, which focuses on "agropoles", service centres designed to support the development of agricultural and/or livestock activities. Around these agropoles, Enabel will rehabilitate training centres, develop clean energy sources and boost the supply of financial (microfinance) and non-financial services.
  • The rural component of the PAPEUR programme, which has been run by the International Trade Centre (ITC) since mid-2020, aims to strengthen the productivity and competitiveness of the promising maize, village palm oil and small livestock sectors. The action will support the formalisation and modernisation of 60 cooperatives in Lobaye, Kemo and Ombella Mpoko. It will also support private sector actors in processing using the "contract farming" approach.
  • Through its urban component, the PAPEUR programme will support five umbrella organisations (pig breeders - ANEP, poultry farmers - ANGAC, fish farmers - FNAPAC, craftsmen - FEGACA and market gardeners) and ensure the functionality of poultry, pig and fish farming service stations. It will provide local support to the 2,000 local economic actors (AEL) targeted and will help them to submit applications for credit, particularly to microfinance institutions. The establishment of a micro-guarantee fund should also facilitate the access of LEAs to the financial services needed to develop their activities.
  • The programme "Strengthening central capacities and decentralised services" implemented by IRAM targets the meso level. It aims to strengthen the technical, organisational and material capacities of five organisations: the Central African Agricultural Development Agency (ACDA); the National Livestock Development Agency (ANDE); the Central African Institute for Agricultural Research (ICRA); the National Federation of Central African Livestock Breeders (FNEC); and the Chamber of Agriculture, Livestock, Water, Forestry, Hunting, Fisheries and Tourism (CAEEFCPT).
  • The Bêkou Fund also intervenes at the macro level by supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Livestock and Animal Health, the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing. Three technical assistants accompany these four ministries to enable them to fully exploit the potential of the agro-pastoral sector.

Cross-cutting component

Other Bêkou Fund projects develop economic recovery actions. Support for income-generating activities (IGAs) is thus present in most of the projects financed in the other sectors of intervention, whether it be to empower victims of gender-based violence (gender programme), to promote the integration of displaced persons (reconciliation programme), or to support small producers (rural development programme - phase I).

In addition, many projects also have a microfinance component through the support to AVEC.

Principaux résultats

  • 19 900 income-generating activities supported

  • 120 100 people have strengthened their skills (VET)

  • 10 000 beneficiaries have access to financial services

  • 9 200 vulnerable people working in labour-intensive work (THIMO).

Related documents

8 MARCH 2022
Fiche d'action Fonds Fiduciaire Bêkou - Relance économique et d'autonomisation des acteurs économiques centrafricains
(131.91 KB - PDF)
8 MARCH 2022
Fiche d'action Fonds Fiduciaire Bêkou - Développement rural
(659.8 KB - PDF)
8 MARCH 2022
Fiche d'action Fonds Fiduciaire Bêkou - Entrepreneuriat rural et urbain
(290.49 KB - PDF)