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OPEC Fund’s US$25.5 million loan to empower Benin's workforce through vocational education
November 9, 2023: The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is extending a US$25.5 million loan to the Government of Benin to strengthen the technical and professional competences of the country’s workforce.
The Ouidah & Djougou Vocational Training Schools Project will support the transformation of the technical high schools in Djougou and Ouidah by updating facilities and improving the educational curricula to meet the demands of the job market. The program also includes training for teachers to provide them the latest skills. The schools will empower about 2,000 students every year, one fourth of whom are female, through improved learning conditions and modernized facilities.
OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, who signed the loan agreement with Benin’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Romuald Wadagni, today on the side-lines of the Saudi-Arab African Economic Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said:
“We are proud to support Benin’s ambitious agenda to expand vocational and technical education, which will help young people to acquire necessary skills for the job market. Our joint investment with the Government in vocational education will foster youth employment, promote economic development and improve living conditions.”
Ouidah is a city on the southern coast of Benin with a long tradition in international trade. Djougou is the largest city in northwestern Benin and an important market town. The project includes the rehabilitation of school facilities and a quality enhancement of the technical vocational education program. It js aligned with a Government program to tackle youth unemployment and reduce the size of the informal sector.
The OPEC Fund has partnered with Benin since 1976 and has to date approved more than 25 public sector loans worth nearly US$150 million, supporting the transport, energy, education, rural development and health sectors.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$24 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$190 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA, Outlook Positive by S&P. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.