Seychelles has received a grant of US $800,000 from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the development of primarily the biotechnology sector of the country.
The grant was approved on September 15, 2019 by the African Development Bank’s group Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (Fapa). The Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning (MFTIEP) is the grant recipient and the executing agency will be the department of the Blue Economy (DBE) in the vice-president’s office.
The main purpose of the project is to diversify the Seychelles’ economy, especially through the marine biotechnology sector, by means of creating high value jobs and wealth within the sector. It has four components; first, to accentuate development opportunities in the Blue economy sector. Secondly, it envisages consolidating research and development of technical capability and setting up of an incubator for MSMEs. The third component of the project is targeted to the capacity building of MSMEs and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship; while the fourth component is mainly a project management component. The project will be implemented over a period of three years.
The department of the Blue economy will work in close collaboration with the department for industry and entrepreneurship development (DOIED) and the National Institute for Science and Technology (Nisti).
In its capacity as the executing agency, the DBE will channel the funds to the intended activities and will be responsible for the fiduciary aspects of the project such as procurement, financial management, and accounting.
The grant will require coordination across several government institutions and will engage the private sector and the non-governmental sector. The main project beneficiaries are expected to be the Seychelles’ MSMEs and entrepreneurs, private sector associations, youth, and women engaged in the Blue economy who will benefit through conducive policy environments leading to better organisation and support.
The government of Seychelles will also benefit through the development of a needed regulatory framework as well as the international development partners who will benefit by shaping their strategic interventions for MSMEs in the Blue economy.
It is expected that 50 incubator users, 85 trainers of teachers, and 100 entrepreneurs will be trained. Further, it is envisaged that 20 MSMEs in marine biotechnology will have been created by project end.
The government of Seychelles is expected to contribute $200,000 to the project making a total of $1,000,000 which will go towards executing the different activities under the project. Examples of activities under the project include; knowledge exchange trainings with Japanese experts, the rehabilitation of building for BTI incubator, as well as workshops.