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During the visit to Côte d’Ivoire by Mr. Franck Riester, the French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, PROPARCO and the financial institutions ADVANS-CI, ECOBANK-CI and Société Ivoirienne de Banque (SIB) today signed new MoUs to support Ivorian companies affected by the crisis. These partnerships will allow the deployment of the Choose Africa Resilience guarantee set up in response to the crisis.

To meet the needs of MSMEs affected by the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, PROPARCO has today signed three new MoUs with ADVANS-CI, ECOBANK-CI and SIB. These partnerships plan to finance MSMEs and risk-sharing facilities, in particular the Choose Africa Resilience portfolio guarantees offered by AFD Group.

This exceptional guarantee scheme, which has been made possible through the resources specifically allocated by the French State for MSMEs affected by the crisis in Africa, is a key tool of the “Resilience” component of the French Choose Africa initiative. Announced in late 2020 in response to the crisis, this Resilience component increases France’s commitment to EUR 3.5bn to start-ups and MSMEs in Africa between 2018 and 2022.

Côte d’Ivoire was one of the very first countries to deploy Choose Africa Resilience and benefit from the range of loans with an 80% guarantee from AFD Group. Financing agreements have already been signed with Société Générale Côte d’Ivoire (SGCI) and NSIA Banque.

“Ivorian MSMEs have been weakened by the crisis and therefore need greater support. I welcome these agreements signed today which demonstrate an enhanced cooperation with our partners ADVANS-CI, ECOBANK-CI and SIB to support MSMEs in Côte d’Ivoire”, said Fatoumata Sissoko-Sy, PROPARCO’s Regional Director for West Africa.

“International donors are used to assisting microfinance institutions with financing Ivorian microentrepreneurs and microenterprises by providing liquidity through refinancing lines in foreign currency. Today, AFD Group is offering us innovative guarantee schemes tailored to our target clients. They will allow us to reduce the risk profile of many entrepreneurs that are more vulnerable to external shocks than others and thereby help support them”, said Mariam Djibo, Chief Executive Officer of Advans Côte d’Ivoire.

“SME financing figures prominently in Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire’s strategy. I congratulate all the stakeholders for the signing of the agreements today and confirm once again our firm commitment to support African SMEs, especially SMEs in Côte d’Ivoire. Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire aims to give SMEs the opportunity to boost their activities in these times marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, for the well-being of the population”, said Paul-Harry Aithnard, Managing Director of Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire and Executive Regional Director for the WAEMU zone.

Daouda Coulibaly, Chief Executive Officer of Attijari West Africa, on behalf of SIB, expressed his satisfaction: “I’m pleased that such a partnership, which is another example of the specific actions deployed by SIB to support the resilience of SMEs to the health crisis, comes in addition to the mechanisms set up by our bank to allow the private sector to sustainably boost growth.”