Community management: A game changer in Benin
A recent training of 150 youth in Benin promises job prospects in community management, a promising profession in West Africa.
Unsurprisingly, community management ranks among the most attractive and dynamic professional sectors in West Africa. Since the health crisis, companies have understood the vital need to be visible both on the web and on social networks. The demand for content creation is increasing at a high rate.
For entrepreneurship in Africa, the digital economy provides a huge growth opportunity: by specializing in web marketing, young people seize a growing market and gain access to employment. To support the emergence of this promising field, the International Trade Centre’s Netherlands Trust Fund V programme organized a training course in community management for around 150 young people in Benin. On site in Cotonou, the Tiar Media Group agency shared its expertise in social networks and community management.
A training course for future community managers
Fleur Sessinou, director of Tiar Media Group agency, oversaw the training course, which took place between October 2021 and February 2022. Around 150 young Beninese participants put into practice the fundamentals of community management and obtained a certificate.
The training focused on social media, writing techniques, developing an editorial calendar, the optimization of a sales tunnel next to using standard images and video software. The objective was to train professional consultants capable of developing and implementing a digital presence strategy on behalf of their clients.
Fleur Sessinou says: “Community Management is interesting for young people who are changing careers and students looking for an income to finance their studies. It’s a profession in its own right, offering the potential of a full-time job. But it's not enough to call yourself a community manager to get contracts. That's the whole point of this training: to develop the skills of motivated people who show a real aptitude for this job that has become essential.”
Actively supporting the future of young people
Pavel Ahounou is one of the certified candidates. He is just starting out as a community manager, but he is already finding real interest in it. He enjoys producing engaging content and learning from a diverse clientele.
Currently studying for a master’s degree in Banking and Finance, he sees community management as an attractive career option. “Many small businesses in Benin have no visibility on the web. I started to approach them to offer my services,” he says.
At the end of the online training, Pavel was selected from among the most promising participants to follow six other in-depth classroom modules. Pavel and his fellow students were able to deepen their knowledge of the various social networks, learn how to carry out competitive intelligence and manage their accounting.
The additional training sessions were organized in small groups and created interactive exchange. “I was able to ask all the questions I wanted to ask, and be part of a network with a shared vision. Community managers support and help each other,” explains Pavel. “I have improved my sales psychology, which gives me more confidence to prospect new companies and give my business a boost. I have just signed a contract for a ready-to-wear shop and another for a restaurant.”
About the project
The Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF) (July 2021 - June 2025) is based on a partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Trade Centre. The programme supports small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa in the digital technology and agribusiness sectors. It aims at contributing to an inclusive and sustainable transformation of agri-food systems partly through digital solutions, improving the competitiveness of local tech start-ups internationally and supporting the implementation of IT&BPO companies’ export strategies.