YAOUNDE, Cameroon, October 31, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (AGF) (www.africanguaranteefund.com) has today signed a protocol agreement worth USD 100 million with the GICAM and a consortium of banks (SGBC, BICEC, Afriland First Bank, Ecobank, BGFI) to set up a pilot project for financing and support Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) in Cameroon.
The inaccessibility of finance is a major obstacle to small business growth and development, with only 20% of African SMEs receiving a credit line from a financial institution. The facilities received under this project will allow Cameroonian SMEs to position themselves competitively on the market of the Central African region and Nigeria.
Commenting on this transaction, GICAM’s President, Andre Fotso said: “This one-of a kind agreement reaffirms GICAM’s commitment to support small and medium-sized businesses and will further enable the SME sector play a critical role in the socio-economic development of Cameroon.”
It comes just weeks after AGF signed a USD 50 million guarantee facility agreement with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (“Ecobank”), the leading pan-African banking group.
Also speaking, M. Felix Bikpo, the Chief Executive Officer of AGF added: “This agreement is of great significance as it provides a platform through which Cameroonian SMEs will be assisted not only in getting increased access to financing, but also capacity development support to enhance their managerial capabilities. This Partnership is another manifestation of AGF’s role as the missing link to increasing the financing of African SMEs by banks and non-bank financial institutions”.