Promoting MSME Finance in West and Central Africa
European Investment Bank (EIB)
2019 - 2022
COUNTRY / REGION
Liberia, Cameroon, Mali, Nigeria, DC Congo, Senegal / Sub-Saharan Africa
Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are engines for growth and employment in economies around the world but often lack access to suitable financial services. This is particularly the case in Western and Central Africa. Although a variety of financial institutions (FIs) focus on serving the MSME segment directly or indirectly—including banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs), apex funds, and investment vehicles—challenges faced by these institutions often prevent scaling up or improving the quality of service to MSMEs. Common issues facing FIs include weak institutional governance, poor management information systems (MIS), the lack of capacity to develop and deliver fitting products, weaker internal audit functions, and the inability to leverage digital technologies to improve operational efficiencies or utilise new delivery channels.
Recognising both MSMEs’ need for suitable finance and the challenges FIs face in delivering such finance, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has established a number of credit lines to Western and Central African FIs serving the MSME segment directly or indirectly.
Along with this, the EIB has engaged a consortium led by IPC to both build capacity at FIs in West and Central Africa and raise the financial literacy of MSMEs over a three-year period.
In a region covering 25 countries, the IPC-led consortium will work hand-in-hand with financial institutions, delivering tailor-made capacity building and training programmes based on the assessed and unique needs of each institution. In particular, the programme seeks to increase access to responsible finance for underserved client segments (including women and youth) and increase the skill levels of FI staff in serving these segments. The consortium will also work to identify and develop training institutions for FI staff in each country. Finally, the consortium will develop and deliver MSME training events and awareness-raising activities in order to promote financial literacy and increase financial access.