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Start-ups and SMEs play a key role in job creation, economic growth and innovation. Their role is especially important in Africa, where they account for 60% of formal employment and 40% of national GDP. However, the lack of appropriate financing is still one of the main barriers for SMEs. This curbs the ambitions of entrepreneurs and stifles the potential of their companies.

The Choose Africa initiative launched in 2019 fulfils the commitment made in Ougadougou by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, to support the revolution in entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa. Through Agence Française de Développement Group, France will earmark over EUR 2.5bn to finance and support start-ups, microenterprises and SMEs in Africa between 2018 and 2020.

Deployment of the initiative september 1, 2020