Financing: 331 billion US dollars to support African SMEs



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The situation of small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa, which is very important for the economy of the countries of the continent, is alarming. Their funding needs amount to $ 331 billion. Needs that represent a real obstacle to their development and, consequently, to the economic development of the countries of the continent.

"In Africa, there are 44 million formal SMEs, accounting for 33% of the gross domestic product of the continent and 45% of jobs. However, 70% do not have long-term financing, and 80% do not have access to bank loans"Said Thameur Hemdane, co-chairman of the Africa-Mediterranean Partnership Fund (FPAM), who spoke at the Forum crowdfunding in Africa in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, this week. "Their funding needs amount to $ 331 billion. The financial gap is the first obstacle to the development of African small and medium-sized enterprisesHe added.

Hemden's concern was shared by Laurent Gonnet, the world's leading global finance expert at the World Bank (WB), who, on the occasion of the Strategic Markets Initiative (Forum SMI), suggested there would be a $ 10 billion deficit in West Africa to finance official SMEs. "For Senegal, there are billions of dollars. The World Bank and other partners therefore need to introduce all the conditions for resolving this gap between 5 and 10 yearsA World Bank expert continued.

crowdfunding, a credible alternative, but insufficient

If you want to overcome this gap, more players are turning tocrowdfunding). However, the African Development Bank (AfDB) notes that while this means reliable, this is not enough. "In 2017, total spending in Africa amounted to $ 153 million. The system is not yet completely safeSaid Valérie Dabady, head of the resource mobilization and external finance department at AfDB.

Laurent Gonnet proposes a three-leveraged solution. "The first is competition in the financial sector, as if stakeholders do not go to SMEs. The other leverage is credit infrastructure that nullifies the symmetry of information between the banker and his client. The third is the need for public intervention with the central bank, the Ministry of Finance and other public forcesExplained the financiers. For Gonnet, "often a banker requires building, a house, a land as a guarantee, without which there is no financing. This does not help young businesses; The financing will ultimately be for those who already have wealth"Laurent Gonnet urges decision-makers to develop"compulsory»«an extended collateral regime in which other types of collateral are offered to bankers".

You have to do it "slipping banks so that they understand that funding for SMEs can be earnedAdded Gonnet. Also,Ministry of Finance [doivent] to establish guarantee funds that offer banks an additional level of comfort that allows them to finance a little more SMEs", Argues Gonnet, senior specialist in the financial sector at the World Bank.

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