COTE D’IVOIRE: YWS launches Young Water Fellowship for water and sanitation

Young Water Solutions (YWS), an international NGO based in Brussels, recently invited entrepreneurs from Côte d’Ivoire to take part in the first edition of the “Young Water Fellowship” programme launched in Côte d’Ivoire. The programme aims to provide 10 entrepreneurs with the means to create social enterprises that will tackle different water and sanitation issues.

Several opportunities are available to young entrepreneurs in Côte d’Ivoire, such as participating in 14 days of training on water and sanitation in Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire. The training is provided by Cewas, a Swiss association specialized in improving business practices in the water and sanitation sector, and by Incub’Ivoir, an incubator for businesses in Côte d’Ivoire. Start-ups also have the opportunity to benefit from funding of up to 3.3 million CFA francs (S$7890.25) for project start-up and mentoring with the technical collaboration of Incub’Ivoir.

To achieve this, the entrepreneurs were invited on June 11, 2020 by Young Water Solutions (YWS), an international NGO based in Brussels, to participate in the first edition of the “Young Water Fellowship” programme in Côte d’Ivoire. Launched on March 18, 2020, the programme aims to empower young leaders to lead water and sanitation initiatives in their communities and to create water businesses. According to Martin Kouamé, the Resident Representative of the Pan-African Intergovernmental Water and Sanitation Agency for Africa (EAA), 27% of the population does not have access to drinking water.

Entrepreneurs interested in the “Young Water Fellowship” programme have until the 28th of June 2020 to submit their applications.
The Young Water Fellowship programme is open to all young entrepreneurs. At the end, only 10 of them, from 20 start-ups pre-selected among the dozens of applicants registered on the YWS and Incub’Ivoir sites, will be retained.

The characteristics of the initiative to be submitted
The projects proposed by the start-ups should solve at least one of the 10 problems identified by Young Water Solutions (YWS). These include issues such as access to safe drinking water, access to sanitation and hygiene services, limiting the rate of Covid-19 infections, water quality and pollution reduction, sustainable water resource management, integrated resource management, ecosystem protection and restoration, cooperation and capacity building, collective management of water, wastewater and solid waste.