The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), the GICAM and Consortium of Banks Sign a Protocol Agreement to Finance and Support SME Businesses in Cameroon


The inaccessibility of finance is a major obstacle to small business growth and development, with only 20% of African SMEs receiving a credit line from a financial institution


AGF is a Pan-African non-bank financial institution owned by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Danish International Development Agency (Danida) and Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (aecid). AGF was officially launched on 1st June 2012.

AGF’s primary mandate is to assist financial institutions (banks, private equity funds, lease finance houses and development finance institutions) in Africa to scale up their SME financing through the provision of partial loan guarantees and SME financing Capacity Development Assistance. Widely referred to as the Missing Link to the scaling up of African SME financing, AGF assists financial institutions with the following products; Equity Financing Guarantees; Loan Guarantees (both Portfolio and individual loan guarantees); Resource Mobilization Guarantees; Counter-Guarantees; and SME Financing Capacity Development Assistance.


YAOUNDE, Cameroon, October 31, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (AGF) (www.africanguaranteefund.com) has today signed a protocol agreement worth USD 100 million with the GICAM and a consortium of banks (SGBC, BICEC, Afriland First Bank, Ecobank, BGFI) to set up a pilot project for financing and support Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) in Cameroon.

The inaccessibility of finance is a major obstacle to small business growth and development, with only 20% of African SMEs receiving a credit line from a financial institution. The facilities received under this project will allow Cameroonian SMEs to position themselves competitively on the market of the Central African region and Nigeria.

Commenting on this transaction, GICAM’s President, Andre Fotso said: “This one-of a kind agreement reaffirms GICAM’s commitment to support small and medium-sized businesses and will further enable the SME sector play a critical role in the socio-economic development of Cameroon.”

It comes just weeks after AGF signed a USD 50 million guarantee facility agreement with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (“Ecobank”), the leading pan-African banking group.

Also speaking, M. Felix Bikpo, the Chief Executive Officer of AGF added: “This agreement  is of great significance as it provides a platform through which Cameroonian SMEs will be assisted not only in getting increased access to financing, but also capacity development support to enhance their managerial capabilities. This Partnership is another manifestation of AGF’s role as the missing link to increasing the financing of African SMEs by banks and non-bank financial institutions”.

 

Source: The African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium sized Enterprises


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