Date: 15/07/2021
Theme: Vie d'I&P


The latest edition of our newsletter is online! This newsletter notably includes:

• An editorial signed by Koen Doens, Director-General DG INTPA, European Commission (see below)

• A zoom on the latest investments of the fund IPAE 2

An interview of Angéline Yougbaré Traoré, founder of Maison Fenel in Burkina Faso.


Click here to discover the newsletter




Edito • Koen Doens

Director-General for International Partnerships, European Commission


Koen Doens has been Director-General for International Partnerships at the European Commission since October 2019.

He joined the Commission in 2004 and was Head of Cabinet of Louis Michel, Commissioner in charge of Development and Humanitarian Aid during the 1st Barroso Commission (2004-2010) and Head of the Commission Spokespersons’ Service during the 2nd Barroso Commission (2010-2014).

After a period as Director for EU-Africa Relations, he became Deputy Director-General responsible for Africa, Asia, Middle East/Gulf, Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean in the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development in March 2018.

A classical philologist by training, he was a professor of Latin and Greek before becoming a Belgian diplomat.

He has been posted in Syria, Iran and Russia and several Belgian ministerial cabinets.


"About two months ago, the summit on the financing of African economies was held in Paris. In a context of health crisis and climate emergency, the opportunity came, stronger than ever, to recall what makes the strength of the African continent: its vast fabric of small and medium-sized enterprises, driven by entrepreneurial and innovative youth, quoted as "the main lever to give a future to all African women and youth on the continent.

The European Commission, co-signer of a column published on Le Monde on July 2, and one of the actors involved in the summit, fully subscribes to this observation and pays full attention to the African private sector, and more particularly to the continent’s micro, small & medium-sized enterprises, key pillars of economic development.

In this context, an initiative called “Invest in Young Businesses in Africa” brings together the Member States of the European Union, the EIB, the EBRD, the European development banks and all the key players involved in this process around common and ambitious objectives. The aim is to accelerate and increase our current financial support, to bring out new ideas to support very small and medium-sized enterprises and to support them more structurally in the development of their business creation. 

The expertise of Investisseurs & Partenaires in this area is very important, in particular through its partnerships with local players and its support for the development of local ecosystems in support of business creation. This initiative is particularly aimed at young people and women who represent a huge potential for the continent's growth.

It is also in this context that the European Union, through its Trust Fund for Africa, has partnered with Investisseurs & Partenaires to finance the ambitious program I&P Acceleration in the Sahel, deployed over four years in 13 countries of the Sahel sub-region. One year after its official launch, the program continues to pursue its mission: to provide access to the finance and skills necessary for small businesses to develop, and thus promote the creation of decent jobs in the Sahel.

Nearly 40 companies have already been financed, in various sectors of activity (agri-food, education, health, energy, etc.), in 7 countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali,Niger, Senegal). The project team, made up of around 20 people, has also initiated more than 30 technical assistance missions, making it possible to strengthen the capacities of the companies financed.

The program I&P Acceleration in the Sahel is one of many programs supported by the European Union to support youth entrepreneurship and small businesses, which truly are the backbone of African economies."



Useful Links

• Read more about I&P Acceleration in Sahel

• European Commission's website