COVID-19: BGFI Bank Support Cameroon Small Enterprises With $20 Million

The Cameroon affiliate of the Gabonese BGFI Bank Group is to make available the sum of 10 billion FCFA (about US$20 million) to help resuscitate Cameroonian small and medium size enterprises hard hit by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An accord to this effect was signed on Tuesday between the Cameroon government represented by Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze and the BGFI Bank Group represented by its Director General for Cameroon, Abakal Mahamat.

According to Mr. Abakal Mahamat, “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on all of us in diverse degrees and made us realize at what point we depend on one another. We would not thus remain silent to the solicitations of the different actors in our chain of values”.

The said amount of money would be granted as loans through various financial institutions in Cameroon to eligible small and medium size enterprises according to the various sectors of activities and the turn-over of the loan applicants.

It should be noted that according to an investigation carried out by the Cameroon Inter-patronal Group popularly known by its French acronym GICAM, which findings were published in April this year, 72 per cent of Cameroonian small and medium size enterprises declared having been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 occasioning losses of up to 80 per cent in income.

The management of BGFI thus estimates that it is necessary to intervene in order to limit the damage to these businesses through the preservation of jobs and the safeguarding of production tools.

“It has expressed our satisfaction to the Director General of BGFI which is resolutely beside the government in the fight that we all know. The support that comes from BGFI is very important, at a moment when the Head of State has asked us to elaborate a plan to relaunch economic activities”, Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze declared.

Though most aspects of the accord have not been made public yet, at BGFI, it is estimated that the initiative is aimed at supporting a segment of the economy which is fragile and needs assistance.

“My teams would work with those of the Ministry of Finance so that the conditions the small and medium size enterprises would have to meet would be as less strenuous as possible in order to be able to benefit from this line of financing”, Mr. Abakal Mahamat assured.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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