The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation received a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) of €12M equivalent in CFA Francs to support the development of microfinance in Western Africa. This financing operation in local currency is a true recognition for the Foundation that will be able to increase its presence in Africa.
The EIB, an operator committed to microfinance
The EIB has a long experience in the development of microfinance. With more than €1.2 billion implicated since the first microfinance operations in 1992, the EIB supports microfinance institutions as well as other actors in this field who promote inclusive and responsible finance. As part of the Cotonou Agreement signed in 2000 between the European Union and the ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific), the EIB launched an investment facility to promote the private sector and fight poverty. Within the framework of this program, a loan a loan of €12M equivalent in CFA Francs was granted to the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation.
The Foundation, an industry expert
Investor, financier, technical assistance coordinator and fund advisor, the Foundation has supported microfinance and social business institutions around the world for 10 years. Ten years later, more than 200 million euros in funding, a presence in thirty countries and more than 100 partners supported from the start. In 2018, € 73 million in outstandings were monitored by the Foundation and 75 partners were supported in 35 countries. After its good results in 2018, this new funding will allow the Foundation to expand its action in Africa around microfinance and support for social entrepreneurship.
With more than 30% of funding in sub-Saharan Africa, the Foundation is positioning itself as an actor committed to the fight against poverty in the continent. It directs its action towards rural populations to support financial inclusion and strengthen the resilience of the agricultural sector. This alliance between the EIB and the Foundation meets a common objective: to finance and promote a more sustainable and inclusive economy, in line with the Global Development Agenda by 2030. By providing this funding in CFA francs, the EIB allows the Foundation to continue supporting its partners in West Africa with loans in local currency.
Already promising projects
Two institutions will already benefit from this joint support: CAURIE MICROFINANCE, in Senegal, which comes to contribute in a sustainable way to the social and economic empowerment of poor micro-entrepreneurs, mainly women, PAM BF, in Burkina Faso which grants microcredits to finance agricultural and economic activities, such as market gardening or cereal production. These two institutions together have close to 100,000 active borrowers.
“With this funding, the European Investment Bank confirms its commitment to financial inclusion in West Africa alongside a committed player who has just celebrated its 10 years of existence,” said Ambroise Fayolle , Vice-President of the EIB. “The ability to finance this operation in local currency is a key element in order to be able to reach the most vulnerable populations without putting the exchange risk on microfinance institutions. We particularly support the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation on its approach in favor of “employment of women. These are the values carried by Europe that we support today.”
“The EIB loan allows us to leverage the action of the Foundation which concentrates more than a third of its funding in sub-Saharan Africa and is present in a dozen African countries. Africa will continue to be a priority target for the Foundation which will concentrate more than 30% of its funding in the continent by 2022. Thank you to the EIB for being part of the human and entrepreneurial adventure that Crédit Agricole and Professor Yunus started 10 years ago. ” , said Jean-Marie Sander, President of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation.