The GCA Foundation strengthens its support to the microfinance institution Graine
In February, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation signed a new financing contract in Burkina Faso, in favor of the microfinance institution Graine, for a total amount in local currency equivalent to € 380,000. This funding is provided within the framework of the African Facility programme, a scheme set up in 2013 by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD), to support a greater number of rural microfinance institutions in sub-Saharan Africa .
GRAINE (GRoupe d’Accompagnement à l’INvestissement et à l’Epargne) is a microfinance institution which has set itself the mission of “contributing to the improvement of the economic and social conditions of the poor populations of Burkina Faso, mostly rural women, by offering them appropriate financial services ”. To date, the institution has over 24,000 borrowers, 97% of whom are women and 80% of whom live in rural areas.
With this new funding, the amount of the Foundation’s outstandings in sub-Saharan Africa reaches € 35.5 million, that is 37% of the total outstandings of the Foundation. With 40 partners, sub-Saharan Africa brings together 47% of the institutions and companies supported by the Foundation at the end of February 2020.
A TA programme to strengthen the impact of microfinance in West Africa
Actors committed to microfinance
With almost 12 years of experience in the microfinance sector and over €200 million in funding, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation finances and supports with technical assistance microfinance institutions worldwide. This support aims at promoting sustainable and innovative microfinance services which, in turn, will have positive social and economic impacts for low-income populations and the development of small and micro enterprises.
With 37% of its investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, the continent is at the heart of the Foundation’s action and its mission to contribute to the fight against poverty. Alongside the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Luxembourg Government, the Foundation will strengthen its support to microfinance institutions in West Africa, within the framework of a new technical assistance programme.
Both partners of the Foundation have strong experience in the development of microfinance: the EIB has already committed over € 1.3 billion for the sector since its first microfinance operations in 1992, a key objective of EIB support for private sector investments in Africa, and Luxembourg concentrates 61% of global assets under microfinance management.
Strengthening the impact of the Foundation in West Africa
After granting in 2018 to the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation a loan equivalent to €12 million euros in CFA francs, in order to support microfinance in West Africa, the EIB allocated, on behalf of the Government of Luxembourg, a grant of € 332,000 to provide technical support to five microfinance institutions supported by the Foundation.
This two-year programme will allow the Foundation to support Caurie (Senegal), Kafo Jiginew (Mali), Graine (Burkina Faso), ACEP Burkina Faso and ACEP Niger in order to facilitate their digital transformation, improve risk management or even strengthen the social performance management. Thanks to this partnership with the EIB and the Government of Luxembourg, the Foundation is increasing its presence in West Africa and strengthening its value proposition to its partners in the region. This will strengthen the impact of microfinance in rural and urban areas of West Africa, including in the Sahel States. Moreover, consolodating private sector access to finance will be key to bolster Africa’s resilience and recovery from the expected impact of the Corona virus.