Washington, D.C. – A new VOA radio program about entrepreneurship is attracting a lot of interest in the African nation of Burundi, where people see building a business as a path to success in a country with high unemployment.
The weekly Kirundi-language program, Tujahe, provides listeners with information on how to start a business, write a business plan, obtain necessary documents and access the market.
“Tujahe, which means ‘where are we going,’ is a program that addresses the needs of the people in Burundi,” said Robert Daguillard, chief of VOA’s Central Africa Service. “And one of the most pressing issues for Burundians – and young people around the world – is finding a way to support themselves.”
Pierre Clavier Nduwamwami, managing director of the Burundi Business Incubator (BBIN), a non-profit group that helps start-up companies, said the media can play a huge role in informing people about the market.
“The biggest challenge to setting up a business is to get people to risk their money,” said Nduwamwami, an adviser on VOA’s Tujahe program. Nduwamwami spoke recently at a town hall style meeting in Bujumbura that attracted more than 100 people interested in entrepreneurship.
Tujahe, which is funded by USAID, features stories about businesses that have succeeded and failed, providing “lessons learned” to aspiring entrepreneurs such as Angelique Ndikumana, who creates jewelry from rock-hard palm tree nuts. Ndikumana is promoting the jewelry as an alternative to ivory, which is banned.
Tujahe airs at 7:30 Saturday evenings in Burundi or you can listen on demand on the VOA Central African website.
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