German Minister Gerd Müller announced on January 3 that Benin will receive 20 million Euro to support innovation in agriculture.
“You need more than just water and fertilizer for agriculture. You also need knowledge and innovation!” Minister Müller stated at the inauguration of the green innovation centre in Cotonou.
Benin and Togo are two of the poorest countries in the world. That is why advancing food security and providing job prospects in these two partner countries of German development cooperation are high on the agenda for the minister’s visit. The green innovation centre in Cotonou is one of the 13 centres worldwide which have been established under German development cooperation. The centres provide innovative technologies and extension services and thus help to increase smallholders’ incomes, create employment opportunities and improve the food situation in rural areas. In Benin, rice farming will be one of the main focus areas.
In Togo, Minister Müller inaugurated the first vocational training course for motorcycle mechanics based on the dual system.
“Togo is a young and vibrant country,” Müller said, “a third of its population is between 15 and 24 years of age. That is why the country needs more than modern technology and an enabling environment. More than anything else, it needs its people – qualified workers. Investing in good vocational training is an investment in Togo’s future!”
Under its development cooperation Germany is helping Togo to set up a dual system of vocational training for five trades.
During his visit to Benin and Togo, Minister Müller will meet the presidents and several ministers of both countries for political talks. A main topic on the agenda will be the role of development cooperation in tackling the root causes of displacement.