Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at Roundtable with Women Entrepreneurs at the Délégation Générale à l’Entrepreneuriat Rapide des Femmes et des Jeunes (DER/FJ) in Dakar, Senegal

As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you very much for joining me and thank you for the tour of the facility. 

An overriding focus of my trip to Africa is the enormous economic potential the continent has, thanks to its demographic trends and the impressive dynamism of its growing cohort of young and diverse entrepreneurs.  

The women assembled here today are testament to the actualization of that potential, and also the ability to make a difference today in the lives and livelihoods of Senegalese.

The U.S. is committed to working with Africa to realize the promise of a better economic future, because we know that a stronger African economy is good for the world, and good for America.  The work you are doing here is incredible.  

DER/FJ’s work is just one more example of the power of innovation and collaboration between public and private sector leaders.  Women and young people across Senegal have been able to create better jobs for themselves and others and live a higher quality-of-life because of the spirit of inclusion, innovation, entrepreneurship, and care inside of this building. 

It is also striking that so many of the businesses are focused on providing local solutions, centered on improving the lives of their customers, for example nutritious foods that are locally sourced or digital upskilling to give students a competitive edge. 

In just a few moments, I’ll outline my vision for our nations’ shared partnership, and how we can work together to propel Africa’s economic success in the coming decades.  I will talk about how our success depends on working in partnership with Africa, not on behalf of Africa.

To do that requires learning and listening.  So, I look forward to learning from you: I want to hear about the successes and challenges you’ve faced as women and young entrepreneurs, and what types of support – whether public or private, local or international – have been most helpful along the way.  What specific challenges are you facing in advancing your business goals over the coming year?  And how can we work with you to meet them?

Thank you. 


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