Choose Africa Initiative: 1.96 billion CFA francs dedicated to Ivorian SMEs impacted by Covid-19

Choose Africa Initiative: 1.96 billion CFA francs dedicated to Ivorian SMEs impacted by Covid-19
Choose Africa Initiative: 1.96 billion CFA francs dedicated to Ivorian SMEs impacted by Covid-19

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The Choose Africa Resilience Initiative, a financing mechanism for SMEs, VSEs and startups impacted by Covid-19, notably developed by Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD), was launched on Friday in Abidjan with a start-up fund of 3 million euros, or 1.96 billion CFA francs.

Proparco “has already signed with four countries, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Madagascar”, but “starts primarily with Côte d’Ivoire” with 1.96 billion CFA francs housed at the Société Générale, a said its managing director, Clemente Grégory, in front of the press.

Explaining the financing process, he declared that the partner bank “does its job, provides liquidity and lends cash to the customer and we are there so that in the event of a problem, if the customer cannot repay the loan , we pay the bank (the credit) ”.

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As a result, he will say, “the bank creates its market, sets its financing conditions” and in the event of difficulty in repayment, the Choose Africa resilience mechanism will “compensate the bank up to 80% as an insurance “.

He underlined that clients have a period of “12 to 48 months to repay the loan” thanks to the Choose Africa Resilience Initiative, endowed with 2.5 billion euros, or 1,639 billion CFA francs, for the benefit of SMEs. , TPE and startups on the African continent.

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The Initiative targets SMEs, VSEs and start-ups in targeted countries. In addition, those whose portfolio has “suffered a significant loss in turnover of 25%” due to the Covid-19 health crisis and having a maximum of 200 employees are eligible.

With the bank Societe Generale Côte d’Ivoire, “we were able to contract an envelope of 3 million euros which is available now for any company that would request financing” from this establishment, he said. insured.

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The regional director of Proparco in West Africa, Fatoumata Sissoko-Sy, indicated that the subsidiary intends to develop the Choose Africa Resilience Initiative with other banking partners in Côte d’Ivoire.

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The Initiative targets ten to twelve countries in Africa.

She said that this initiative is linked to an ecosystem of potential investors. This will allow, with investment funds specializing in financing, support for startups and SMEs.

Mr. Clemente announced that the Choose Africa Resilience Initiative has been endowed with an additional 1 billion euros to further support SMEs, VSEs (Very Small Businesses) and African startups impacted by the health and economic crisis linked to Covid- 19.

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The Choose Africa Resilience Initiative has now been increased to 3.5 billion euros for the benefit of startups and SMEs on the continent.

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The objective is to support the economic recovery of Africa, which is expected to face its first recession in 25 years.

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The French Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Jean-Christophe Belliard, was present at the launch of the Choose Africa Resilience Initiative, which is a policy of the French State to revive the African economy in the face of the pandemic of Covid-19.

AP / ls / APA

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