Société Générale, EIB unlock €10m support for SME investment in Cameroon
Société Générale and the European Investment Bank (EIB) confirmed agreement of a new joint initiative to support economic development across Cameroon. The new financing is part of the European Investment Bank’s broader support for private sector development and help to increase the economic resilience of companies across Africa and around the world facing economic, social and health challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Achille Bassilekin III, Minister for small and medium sized companies, social economy and artisans said: “This new credit line will unlock investment and support jobs by companies across Cameroon and central Africa. Cameroon welcomes the strong support from the Société Générale and the European Investment Bank. This new credit line will ensure that companies in Cameroon can better face the global economic recession.”
Sebastien Bergeon, Charge d’affaires of the European Union Delegation to Cameroon said: “Ensuring a lasting impact of the fight against COVID-19 requires joint action. Africa and Europe are working together to tackle the impact of the pandemic, in particular through enabling enhanced private sector investment in sectors most impacted by the health crisis. Today’s agreement between Société Générale and the European Investment Bank, the EU Bank, demonstrates this cooperation in action. Team Europe, the European Umion and member states, hope that this new support totalling €10 million, will enable companies across Cameroon to restart their businesses.”
The new scheme is available immediately and will be managed by Société Générale in Cameroon. The 10 billion FCFA will include working capital, enable increased backing for investment projects and include more flexible disbursement conditions to reflect the acute and sudden challenges facing African business.
Mme. Mareme Mbaye Ndiaye, Directeur General, Société Générale Cameroon said: “Through its “Grow with Africa” strategy Société Générale Group is enabling sustainable development across Africa through financing for SMEs, infrastructure, agriculture and renewable energy. In 2019 Société Générale Cameroon inaugurated the Maison de la PME to provide key support for local companies and entrepreneurs. Following positive results we are going one step further to enhance support for private sector development in partnership with the EIB. It is crucial ensure access to finance during the pandemic to protect jobs, unlock investment and contribute to economic growth.”
Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President said: “This new targeted support for private sector investment brings together technical expertise and detailed understanding of local business needs from two international partners committed to delivering transformational investment across Africa. The new scheme will ensure that local companies can address the impact of COVID-19, continue to invest and create jobs. Once again Team Europe is enabling a rapid and effective response to COVID-19 challenges with a global partner.”
Ensuring access to financing during the COVID-19 pandemic is even more important to protect employment, unlock business investment and enable economic growth. The new SocGen-EIB COVID-19 economic resilience financing programme will help African companies most impacted by business uncertainty and challenges linked to the pandemic. It allows working capital expenses including among others payment of salaries, social security and tax, without a minimum maturity requirement to help mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.
Companies involved in manufacturing, commerce, agriculture, tourism and transport will be able to benefit from the new cooperation between Société Générale and the European Investment Bank. A similar credit line provided jointly by the Société Générale and the EIB is in place in Benin. Other initiatives are currently being financing in central Africa and will be announced in the coming weeks.