French Agency Offers $6 Million To Guarantee Loans For COVID-19 Affected SMEs

The French financial outfit, PROPARCO, an affiliate of the French Agency for Development (FDA), has announced the signing of a partnership with its Cameroonian arm, the French bank, Societe Generale, for the guarantee of loans granted by the bank to Cameroonian small and medium size enterprises negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The deployment of this exceptional guarantee, a new tool put in place within the context of the Choose Africa resilience option, will permit us to amplify our action towards Cameroonian small and medium size enterprises and industries, in particular those which have been severely affected by the current crisis. 

“We are happy to be able to count on a partner such as Societe Generale, to respond to the needs of these enterprises and preserve their capacity to create jobs, ” Audrey Maignan, the Central African regional director of PROPARCO, said.

The guarantee being made available to Societe Generale Cameroun to permit local small and medium size enterprises to benefit from financial assistance to enable them to face the challenges of the world sanitary crisis amounts to 5 million euros, which is a little over three billion FCFA.

“After examining the financial demands, enterprises employing less than 200 persons affected by the crisis might be granted loans payable within 12 to 48 months. 

“These loans which could represent up to three months of income during the 2019 year would be guaranteed up to 80 per cent by the French Development Agency, ” according to an FDA communiqué.

It is necessary to recall here that since November 2020, the Cameroonian affiliate of Societe Generale, thanks to partnerships signed respectively with the European Investment Bank and the state of Cameroon, disposes a credit line of 35 billion FCFA (about $70 million) to support small and medium size enterprises and industries which have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The guarantee which PROPARCO has just granted would go to secure and boost the distribution of this credit line by way of loans.

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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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