Economic and Trade Infrastructures Development Program (PDIEM)

This project is active

The Economic and Trade Infrastructure Development Programme (P-DIEM) is implemented under the leadership of SNV together with SwissContact and APIC. P-DIEM is funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

The project covers the period October 2013 – March 2018 and targets rural economic and institutional development in 14 communes in the departments Borgou and Alibori in North Benin. The aims to stimulate economic activity in the regio, to improve the living conditions of people in area in general, and contribute to an increase in the institutional capacities of municipalities due to increased tax incomes.

The P-DIEM project aims to strengthen local infrastructure to boost commercial activities, improving access to markets for locally produced and traded products and livestock, with the increase in turnover and the recovery of local taxes as leverage effects for further socio-economic investments in the region. P-DIEM project targets private sector actors (producers, breeders, artisans, traders etc.), local authorities and socio-professional organisations. SNV coordinates the implementation of the programme's activities, monitors its progress and takes care of internal learning and evaluation. It also provides technical assistance in the fields of civil engineering, public tendering and good governance and ensures the strengthening of the managerial and technical capacities of the operational inter-municipal institutions and socio-economic and professional organisations.
The P-DIEM project is focused on some key innovations: the use of local raw materials - especially bricks made of compressed soil - in the construction activities, opening up public construction tenders for local small enterprises (PME); providing a key role to the inter-municipal associations in the public tendering system and the supervision of the construction activities; the set-up of an intercommunity social investment fund; and the set-up of (semi) autonomous market management organs. All project activities are intended to boost the development o the local economy, promote decentralised management systems and good governance practices. Thus, while building the capacity of the fourteen municipalities in managing and mobilising local financial resources, the programme at the same time enables especially young people and women to increase their employability, earn a better living and start their own businesses.
The economic and commercial infrastructures created with support of the project, enables the use of new management structures. This enables the municipalities to improve their tax revenues, due to more effective tax collection and improve economic activity. Part of the increased revenues are put into a repair & maintenance fund, a second part of the revenues is handed over to the end-users’ professional organisations. The bulk of the revenues is used to finance the municipalities with the aim to strengthen socio-economic infrastructures (e.g. clinics, schools, water harvesting, feeder roads).
A specific feature of the programme is the promotion of use of local materials - especially bricks made of compressed soil - for construction activities, with the aim to boost the local economy and to contribute to addressing the negative effects of climate change (less CO2 emissions through a much lower use of fossil energy and concrete).
To date, the programme has provided technical training to about 150 young people on how to produce the bricks and on how to use them in the construction of buildings. The programme has been promoting the use of local small and medium enterprises (PMEs) in the construction activities by opening up the public construction tenders for these PMEs; around 500 people, most young people, have gained temporary employment ranging from 2 months to one year in the construction of the 4 markets and 2 warehouses; in total 400 women, members of different cooperatives, have earned a higher income through the sales of construction material especially gravel to the construction companies on the 6 construction sites. The total revenues earned are about € 25,000; in total 500 women, belonging to cooperatives were trained in cleaning & sanitation activities at public places, like markets.
With the new management structures that will be soon in place, the programme will guarantee that from now on they will be properly paid. By the end of 2017 all six infrastructures will be fully operational and are expected to considerably raise the revenues for its users. 

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