African Guarantee Fund and Afriland First Bank partner to finance SMEs/SMIs, support women entrepreneurship and promote green businesses.
The signing ceremony of this new agreement was held at African Guarantee Fund’s head office in Nairobi, Kenya. This deal was signed by Alphonse Nafack, Managing Director of Afriland First Bank and Jules Ngankam, Group Chief Executive Officer of African Guarantee Fund. The agreement will help Afriland First Bank, on the one hand, to further invigorate its commitment to the SME/SMI sector, while also helping the promotion of green entrepreneurship and women’s involvement in leadership, especially within the business community.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Jules Ngankam, Chief Executive Officer of AGF Group, said: “Banks across the continent are in urgent need of risk hedging instruments to support their lending activities to SMEs. This agreement affirms our commitment to Cameroonian SMEs alongside Afriland First Bank, a leading institution in the Cameroonian banking sector.”
“this partnership is part of the DNA of Afriland First Bank and enshrines the strong commitment that has guided our daily activities since our inception, namely to support entrepreneurs, promote SMEs and support companies in their development programs.”
SMEs are key players in the Cameroonian economic system, driving growth and creating job opportunities for many young citizens. However, when they attempt to expand their operations and become even great contributors to the economy, SMEs are faced with enormous challenges as regards getting access to finance from banks. Active in investment financing and winner of “Best financing of local investments” award at the CIF (Cameroon Investment Forum 2019), Afriland First Bank through this agreement, is taking a greater step towards the fulfilment of its objective, which is to aid the emergence of local economic champions. As of December 31, 2020, it claimed to have given out over FCFA 150 billion in financing to VSEs / SMEs / SMIs.
As regards the promotion of entrepreneurship, there is a need for gender balance, to ensure that women also have adequate support as they pursue their innovative business ideas. It is to this end that Afriland First Bank supports women entrepreneurs through their support to the MUFFA (Financial Mutuality for African Women). In his remarks, Mr. Alphonse Nafack, Managing Director of Afriland First Bank also stated that
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