AFRICA/SUDAN – Education and business training: Comboni missionaries promote opportunities for young people

AFRICA/SUDAN – Education and business training: Comboni missionaries promote opportunities for young people

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) – “The Comboni Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (Ciec) aims to expand and promote new skills: it is in fact an incubator designed to strengthen social cohesion and offer young people opportunities to develop their ideas and to reduce unemployment”. So says Father Jorge Naranjo Alcaide, Comboni priest and Director General of the Comboni College of Science & Technology in Khartoum, in an interview with Agenzia Fides on the recent initiative of the spiritual heirs of Daniele Comboni, the most disadvantaged, especially young people from the less wealthy classes who have greater difficulty asserting themselves.
This university center – says Father Jorge – dedicated in particular to technology, was founded in 2001 on the basis of another experience, that of the Comboni College Khartoum, the school founded in 1929 in the Sudanese capital: “The formation and formation – he continues – in Given the spirit of the Gospel, which promotes the dignity of every human being, for our founder Daniele Comboni, were the key that would help Africans to renew Africa and this is still the motto of the Comboni Missionaries today”.
This particular mandate was reinforced in 2019 with the creation of the incubator “Comboni Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center” (Ciec): “A project, explains the monk, that is the result of previous experiences carried out in collaboration with the Institute for Research on Innovation and Development Services, an organization of the National Research Council (CNR), with the University of Bari “Aldo Moro” and with the Polytechnic University of Valencia”.
Our idea, Father Jorge told Fides, is a three-step process that we have defined as “pre-incubation”, “incubation” and “acceleration”. The first phase, he said, involves 40 people motivated to create their own start-up and looks at basic concepts of starting a business, such as a business model, accounting principles and using social media to grow a business . In the second incubation phase, the selected candidates would have to present a project on their business idea. Each is then assigned a tutor and workshops are identified to complete the training. At the end, the third phase begins, in which you can apply for funding.
CIEEC is not the only business incubator in Khartoum: there are also centers in the Sudanese capital that are part of international networks. The first major difference, explains the Comboni missionary, concerns the type of members: the users of these centers are generally young, middle- and upper-class Sudanese; those in the CIE are mostly refugees from other countries, and many of the Sudanese have been displaced from Darfur or the Nuba Mountains.
This initiative,” concludes Father Jorge, “is an important opportunity to help young people to discover hidden gifts that they may not have been aware of, to discover their own talents that they can put at the service of building the Kingdom of God. (ES) (Agenzia Fides, 26.3.2022)


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