Competitive intelligence, an instrument of resilience for burkinabe SMEs

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[ACCI-CAVIE] In an environment marked by uncertainty, Competitive intelligence is a vital strategic tool for SMEs. Its practice should enable them to enhance their understanding of their competitive environment, innovate, better protect their assets and know-how, take advantage of the opportunities created by the reforms underway, and ward off threats by collecting, processing, managing and disseminating key information to decision-makers.

From 13 to 18 November 2023 in Koudougou, Burkina Faso, 21 executives, mainly from the Agence de Financement et de Promotion des PME (AFP-PME), received an intensive training with professional certification, funded by the World Bank and the Projet d’Appui à l’Inclusion Financière des PME, organised by the African centre for competitive intelligence (ACCI), in association with IFA sarl.

Led by the Executive President, Guy GWETH and the Country Representative Honoré K. KIETYETA, the participants were equipped to practise intelligence techniques and to set up a competitive intelligence device within their organisation to better serve the cause of Burkina Faso’s SMEs. The participants practised questioning, collecting, processing and analysing business intelligence quickly and securely, and transforming it into a tool for decision-making and influence.

Several participants expressed their appreciation for the quality and relevance of the training content to the current challenges facing the Burkina Faso society. The training was marked by a visit to the promoter of the “François 1er” African fashion clothing brand, a seasoned practitioner of the methods and principles of competitive intelligence. François YAMEOGO, a designer specialised in organic cotton readymade garments, held a discussion with the trainees, demonstrating and backing up his ideas with real-life examples of the economic battles he has faced during his 40-year career in the fashion industry in Europe and Africa.

Following in the footsteps of previous graduates from the Burkinabe Investment Agency, the Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce, the Maison de l’Entreprise, the Ministry of Finance (BAES, SP PNDES), Orange Burkina, the Burkina Post Office and the KANIS Group, this year’s batch has been christened the “Guimbi OUATTARA” promotion, in memory of the role of Intelligence Chief and Influencer that this princess played at the end of the 19th century to prevent the town of Bobo Dioulasso from being destroyed by invaders.

Established in 2015, the ACCI is a non-profit, non-governmental organization governed by Law No. 90/053 of 19 December 1990, governing freedom of association. With its headquarters in Yaoundé, Republic of Cameroon, the ACCI operates across 38 countries. The organization’s primary objective is to advance the adoption of best practices in competitive intelligence throughout Africa, recognizing its significant impact on regional competitiveness. Over the years, the ACCI has emerged as the benchmark institution in Africa for level 1, 2, and 3 certification courses, as well as specialized, short sessions.

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