Seychelles: African Development Bank Grant to Support Small and Medium Blue Economy Enterprises in Seychelles

A new $800,000 grant will allow Seychelles to support and develop micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in its Blue Economy sector.

According to the Department of the Blue Economy, the African Development Bank grant will be used for the technical assistance and capacity building project to diversify Seychelles' economy, especially in the biotechnology sector. This will help create high value jobs and wealth within the sector.

The project will also help accentuate development opportunities in the blue economy sector, consolidate research and development of technical capacity, and set up an incubator for micro, small and medium enterprises.

Expected to be implemented over a period of three years, the project will be undertaken by the Department of the Blue Economy in collaboration with the Department of Industry and Entrepreneurship and the National Institute for Science and Technology (NISTI).

About 100 entrepreneurs, 85 trainers of teachers and 50 incubator users will receive training under the project. The grant will also support the creation of 20 MSMEs in marine biotechnology sector and setting up of a Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Development Strategy.

Seychelles' government will also benefit through a much needed regulatory framework.

The total expenditures are expected to total $1 million of which $800,000 is provided through a grant from the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) and $200,000 from the government of Seychelles.

FAPA is a multi-donor thematic trust fund that provides finances, technical assistance and capacity building to support the implementation of the Bank's Private Sector Development Strategy.

The agreement was signed on March 13 in the island nation by the Seychelles' Minister for Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne. Nnenna Nwabufo, the acting director general for Eastern Africa Regional Office signed for African Development Bank.

The Blue Economy of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean is an important centrepiece of the National Development Strategy 2019-2023.

The country's Blue Economy Strategic Policy and Roadmap prioritises the development of new and emerging maritime sectors, including marine-based aquaculture, renewable energy, offshore petroleum, and marine biotechnology, with MSMEs being an important vehicle for growth.

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