"Sèmè City" Call for projects, Benin


The government of the Republic of Benin launches an international call for projects entitled "Sèmè City: an International City of Innovation and Knowledge".

Sèmè City is one of the 45 flagship projects of the investment program" Revealing Benin ", presented by President Patrice Talon and his government in December 2016. The investment program has a budget of nearly 14 billion euros with the aim of achieving a rapid transformation of the economy through increased collaboration with the private sector and the long-term improvement of the living conditions of the population. 

Sèmè City campus is designed as a smart and sustainable African city that brings together students, teachers, researchers and entrepreneurs from different countries. Sèmè City hosts projects in the fields of education (universities, training centers, vocational and technical schools), research (laboratories and research centers) and incubation of companies in order to:

  • promote quality education adapted to the needs of the economies of Benin and the region;
  • stimulate research on challenges specific to the African continent;
  • empower incubators to foster the emergence of businesses with an economic as well as sustainable and socially inclusive benefits. 

Indeed, Sèmè City brings together training, research and entrepreneurship in a unique place to achieve the creation of 190,000 jobs by 2030, one third of which will be self-employment positions. Through this international project, Benin intends to develop a unique hub in Africa to train a new generation of talents and promote inclusive and sustainable growth based on an "Innovation Made in Africa". Programs will be developed around interdisciplinary themes. With increasingly complex social, economic and environmental challenges, integrated approaches are more than ever necessary to prepare students, researchers and entrepreneurs to thrive in Africa’s complex and fast-changing environments. 

The state will provide material, human and financial support to Sèmè City, while its management and development will be entrusted in the medium term to the private sector, in particular through partnerships with universities or schools offering quality multilingual education and able to obtain regional or international accreditations.

Education, research and entrepreneurship projects are organized by Sèmè City around five interdisciplinary categories:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics;
  • Arts, Design and Social Sciences;
  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Natural Resources;
  • Health and Life Sciences;
  • Management, Administration and Business.

To contribute to the development of Sèmè City, you can apply to this call for projects, either as project promoters or as contributors according to the terms of the international call for projects that you will find below.

Applications as Contributors:

To contribute to the development and to the implementation of Sèmè City project as a contributor, ideas, recommendations and suggestions can be submitted to the Study Committee by e-mail to: semecity@deloitte.fr (and copy to semecity@presidence.bj). The following quote must be specified in the e-mail subject: "To the Attention of the Study Committee - Written contribution to implementation of Sèmè City Project".

Application as Projects Initiator:

Project Initiator may make proposals on:

  • One or more of the following major components of Sèmè City Project: Higher education and professional training, scientific research and Incubation of start-ups.
  • One or more of the additional components of Sèmè city Project useful to the organization of campus life (transport solutions and innovative collective services, data centers, sports centers, collective restauration, waste treatment and clean up, arrangement and green zone’s maintenance, security etc.).
  • Any other component or project of interest and in line with the Sèmè City project’s vision. The projects initiators are also encouraged to make proposals on components or projects, which have not been identified by the Study Committee of this call for projects. 

The project presentation (electronic form), written in English or in French (maximum 20 pages excluding appendices) is left to the discretion of the project initiators. However, it must contain:

  • The name and contact details of the project initiator (legal corporate name, headquarters, social capital, registration number in the trade register, etc.) as well as a presentation of its activity and areas of expertise;
  • the names and contact details of the main point of contact(s) within the project initiator who will be the contact of the Study Committee; 
  • a detailed presentation of the proposed project (including all useful information to demonstrate the viability of the project);
  • a list of the identified needs and prerequisites necessary to the realization of the proposed project (preferred site in Sèmè City and ground surface of the building to be constructed, the state’s funding if necessary, required exemptions, particular advantages and investment incitation, etc.).

All costs incurred by project holders in connection with this international call for projects procedure will be borne by them.

Project holders must send an e-mail to the Study Committee with the file of their projects’ presentation or contributions as the latest on November 15 2017 (6 pm GMT). Projects should be sent to semecity@deloitte.fr (copy to semecity@presidence.bj). The following quote must be specified in the e-mail subject: " To the Attention of the Study Committee, Sèmè City: Project Proposition".

The Study Committee will make a first selection of the most interesting ideas and projects. During this phase, the Study Committee will meet with selected projects initiators and contributors. These bilateral exchanges will serve to clarify and specify the proposed contributions and projects. Selected projects will be announced around December 15, 2017.

Finally, the financial and technical structuration of the most relevant projects will be finalized and partnerships will be concluded with the State no later than January 2018, to launch the first operational activities of Sèmè City in October 2018.

Please find the complete international call for projects, downloading here.

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