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SUPPORT FOR AFRICAN SMES : Ecobank and AGF Conclude an Over 120 Billion FCFA Agreement

The Africa Financial Industry Summit (Afis), pan-African banking group and African Guarantee Fund (AGF) a pan-African institution specializing in the granting of guarantees have signed an agreement of over 121 billion FCFA. The agreement signed on November 16 in Lomé aims at boosting Ecobank in order to strengthen its support for African SMEs.

« Our strengthened partnership with African Guarantee Fund marks an important step in our commitment to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across Africa by offering them affordable financing. Through this partnership, we are taking bold steps to improve green finance and financing for women-led businesses. In doing so, we aim to eliminate the rigorous and restrictive guarantee requirements, which particularly hinder access to credit for women-oriented companies,” said Jeremy Awori, Managing Director of the Ecobank Group.

This agreement strengthens the long date collaboration between Ecobank and AGF. In 2013, the two parties had signed a similar collaboration for seven countries with a total guaranteed portfolio of 50 million and in 2018, the scope of the guarantee expanded to cover 14 countries.

The new partnership now covers 27 countries within Ecobank’s African network, offering 50 % coverage for eligible SMEs in all target markets. The countries covered are among others, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon or Ivory Coast.

« The renewal of our partnership with the Ecobank Group, which now covers 27 countries, illustrates the importance of the risk-sharing mechanisms that banks should take advantage of to develop their SME portfolio. This partnership will mobilize nearly 600 billion FCFA in financing for SMEs, which are the real engines of growth in African economies », said Jules Ngankam, Managing Director of African Guarantee Fund Group.

Recall that Ecobank is the first pan-African banking group in the private sector, present in 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in France, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and China.

Sorelle Ninguem

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