"I have a Master in petroleum engineering. After completing my studies, I was able to get some small contracts in France but nothing consistent especially not in the field of my studies. I had the possibility to stay, but after some reflection, I decided to return to Mali to set up my own business.” Hamed Sekou Touré is a returning migrant. He is 29 years old and married. He currently lives in Bamako and recently joined the Value Chain Development and Youth Employment in Mali project.
“I have my own plot of land in Sélingué, which is approximately 165 km from Bamako. It is 3 hectares big. My parents made several investments and as a result I’m able to farm fish, grow onions and oranges. I also planted around a 100 square meters of papaya, but in the absence of fencing, wild roving animals destroyed all the plants. The lack of enclosure around my plot is one of the main reasons why I joined the OYEM programme.”
Hamed wants to grow his farm and be an example for other young Malians.
“I don’t have sufficient resources to build the necessary fencing and my parents already invested all their savings. Since I arrived back in Mali, I have been banging on doors looking for financial support either from financial institutions or youth support organisations but I have been unsuccessful. I hope that the OYEM project will help me build my business plan and find funding. A loan or grant would enable me to construct the fencing and protect my crops. Hopefully, I would also allow me to expand my business and start cultivating the areas of the plot that I had to leave fallow due to a lack of means.”
“I want to become an example for other Malians in terms of entrepreneurship by creating a food chain that will be a source of employment for many young Malians.”