The 7th year class at the LAP

Investments to create jobs or to create wealth

Nowadays, everything has to be fast: cooking with the microwave (preferably prepared meals), travelling from one point to another… It is also the same for wealth. It has to be built fast mainly through speculation.

Value of real work is being minimized to make rich people richer through shares value and/or dividends.

In Burkina Faso it is also happening. Merchants who have cash prefer to buy “products made in China” to make profit on their sale instead of investing in the real economy of production. The last one is more risky and will take a longer time to create wealth.

Civil servant is still what most people want to be in Burkina Faso: work security, retirement, minimum of risk. This comes from a bad French habit which is still very much a thing today. The examples of merchants do not help.

We are trying at the LAP to create entrepreneurs and we will try to support the best projects of the final year students. We are against the “civil servant mentality” and the “everything as to happen fast mentality”.

Focus on microcredits for women

Women in villages are the real entrepreneurs in Burkina. They need this to be able to have revenue to take care of their family (health, education).

We have started a microcredit program in 2003 with 60 women in the village of Kofila. It is a very simple system with credit for one year with a 7% yearly interest. The credit is given to the women association of the village based on a list of women indicating the amount needed and for what type of revenue generating activity it will be used.

We have now 3.117 women from 12 villages in the program. Each woman has an average loan of 31 euros.

Since 2003 we only have one village which has not repaid part of the credit.

On average a woman will make in one year 3 times the money she has loaned. Taking in account the small amounts we are looking at and the many needs for the family, we have not yet been able to motivate the women to save some of the money made.

If you know of any institution or private person who are looking to invest in women or young people in Burkina, thanks to inform them of our projects.

Quotes of the week

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.” – Garrison Keillor

I hope you will have a good and healthy week,

Hervé

 

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