Interview with Youcef Benhamouda, coordinator of the Safir project team at Abdelhamid Ibn Badis University in Mostaganem (Algeria)

Training Sustainable Development Goals
Interview with Youcef Benhamouda coordinator of the Safir project team at Abdelhamid Ibn Badis University in Mostaganem

Why did your university join the Safir project ?

UMAB has always listened to its environment and society. It is constantly looking for answers to their needs and expectations that converge, for some years now, with the engagement of the major international actors in favor of the SDGs and the social entrepreneurship. In this context, the university consider that the project Safir offer an ambitious program which we wanted to join in order to be part of this international dynamic.

Could you tell us about the activities of your university in favor of social entrepreneurship and the SDGs ?

Our university has introduced into its strategy a set of activities in favor of social entrepreneurship and the SDGs such as entrepreneurship training and awareness for students and alumni, openness to the socioeconomic world and cooperation with civil society organizations so as to contribute to the development of the region in many sectors: cultural, tourism, social, agricultural, marine biodiversity...

How will Safir help your university achieve the goals it has set for itself in these sectors ?

The Safir project will help us to develop a new strategy in terms of social responsibility and to create an incubator dedicated to social entrepreneurship, which considered as an essential structure for supporting the initiatives and innovative ideas of our students.

Does your university already have an entrepreneurship support structure? If so, could you briefly introduce it to us?

Our university has a support structure for students with ideas or projects. Called "Maison de l'Entrepreneuriat", its mission is to educate and train students in entrepreneurship and business creation.

What role does your university play in the development of the social and solidarity economy and the achievement of the SDGs ?

UMAB has developed a strategy to achieve its role as a civic-minded university at national and regional levels.This strategy aims to strengthen the openness of our university to the socioeconomic world, to update the training programs in order to involve representatives of the socioeconomic world, as well as the
establishment of an employment observatory to create new opportunities for students in terms of employability, entrepreneurship training and support for project leaders.

Our university also provides continuous training for professionals and contribute in finding solutions to social and environmental problems in the region by involving its teacher-researchers.

How do you see the role of universities within the entrepreneurial ecosystem in your country?

The role of universities is very essential. It is divided into four areas: awareness, training of future graduates, support and networking with all stakeholders in the ecosystem (students, socioeconomic world, donors, support structures for entrepreneurship in national level, innovation promotion structures, etc.).

How do you see the relations between your university and the other partners of the Safir project network?

UMAB is conceived as a citizen university that develops a close relationship with the entrepreneurial ecosystem and civil society organizations. As part of the Safir project, our university wishes to work for synergy with all the partners to effectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the program.

Can you introduce the Safir project team of your university ?

the Safir project team of Abdelhamid Ibn Badis University in Mostaganem is composed of six teachers and senior university officials involved in governance:
• Dr BENHAMOUDA Youcef (coordinator) : Teacher-researcher in the Faculty of Economics specialized in entrepreneurship issues and in charge of the implementation of the university's incubator.
• M. BOUTAGHANE Mohamed Abderrezak : teacher of economics and assistant to the vice- rector in charge of education.
• Pr BENOUDNINE Hadjira : Vice-Rector for External Relations and Cooperation
• Pr FENINEKH Abdelkader: teacher-researcher in the Faculty of Law and Political Science and
Director of the University-business liaison office ( BLEU)
• Dr LATROCHE Amina : teacher-researcher in the Faculty of Law and Political Science.