On the occasion of the acceptance of its new awards: “Banking CEO of the Year – Mareme Mbaye Ndiaye” and “Best Banking Wallet Cameroon 2021” given by PAN Finance magazine,Société Générale Cameroun revisits some of its actions towards the State and its related entities.
Société Générale Cameroun has been a key player in the development of the Cameroonian economy for nearly six decades. As a partner of the State, Cameroonian companies and individuals, our banking institution’s philosophy is to support our customers and partners in the realisation of their projects thus contributing to the development of each and every one of them, in line with their specific objectives. As the leading partner of the State, we participate in the financing of all sectors of the Cameroonian economy, especially those considered strategic: infrastructure, renewable energy, agro-industry, SMEs and EPT, government agencies, public and semi-public companies.
Société Générale Cameroun is a banking institution fully integrated in the Cameroonian economy. It has a portfolio of 9,000 corporate and institutional customers, including 7,350 SME-EPT and 236,865 individual customers. It is also the leading bank for state employees with a portfolio of 60,000 civil servants. Its achievements amount to 802 billion XAF of credit granted in 2020, including 67 billion XAF of loans to SMEs and 81 billion XAF of loans to individuals. The bank remains the leader in the credit market with a 19.2% market share, including 18% in Corporate and 24.5% in Individuals. It is therefore natural that it works with the bodies responsible for implementing public policies. Therefore, it has often been associated in recent years with major government initiatives.
For several years now, Société Générale Cameroun has been supporting the State in the conduct of its missions: it was the co-arranger and major contributor to the State’s inaugural 2010-2015 bond issue with the organisation of an important sub-regional road show at the time. Since then, Société Générale Cameroun has established itself as a co-arranger of bond issues and other initiatives of the State of Cameroon since 2010. The latest achievement, and not the least, being the repurchase of the Cameroon Eurobond last June with an exceptional success of over 300% compared to the target.
Société Générale Cameroun and the Société Générale Group are involved in a number of infrastructure projects in Cameroon: one example is the construction of the Nachtigal hydroelectric power plant, which will eventually provide nearly 30% of the country’s electricity generation, improve and secure access to electricity for the population, while contributing to the country’s carbon transition. Société Générale acted as financial advisor to the consortium formed by EDF, the IFC and the Government of Cameroon, as well as coordinator of the local tranche of financing for this investment, which is a unique example of a public-private partnership.
In addition to the energy sector, where we finance many private and public stakeholders in the generation, transmission and sale of electricity, petroleum products and gas, other sectors also benefit from significant financing: industry, transport, agri-food, services, public finance and decentralised local authorities, to name but a few.
On the other hand, Société Générale Cameroon has significantly increased its participation in the Treasury securities market over the past two years through a new strategic orientation aimed at supporting the State in its strategy of mobilising domestic debt on the money market. This is reflected in the figures by a significant growth of nearly XAF 200 billion in annual volume of our subscriptions on the Treasury market between 2018 and 2020 (XAF 41 billion in 2018, XAF 127 billion in 2019 and XAF 241 billion in 2020), an increase of 500% in 2 years.
This performance was driven by the strategic orientation of the Cameroonian Treasury in mobilising domestic debt on the money market (instead of the financial market) with the launch of several public securities issuance programmes between February 2019 and December 2020. The bank was recognised by an award granted by the Ministry of Finance as “Best Specialist in Treasury Securities for the year 2020”.
In order to support small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up more than 90% of our country’s economic fabric, the State, in addition to creating a Ministry in charge of SMEs, is developing programmes to encourage entrepreneurship and develop existing structures. Our institution has aligned itself with this commitment of the public authorities. The Société Générale group is behind the “Grow with Africa” programme launched in 2018, for a period of 4 years, through which, our Group committed to strengthen its commitment to the sustainable development of the African continent in four areas of financing and services: SMEs, infrastructure, agriculture and renewable energy, and financial inclusion.
For Société Générale Cameroun, SMEs, EPTs and Professionals are a sector of great interest. In addition to dedicating two departments within our Commercial Department, we have so far carried out significant actions for these economic agents.
Société Générale Cameroun has so far achieved more than 70% of its target in terms of outstanding loans on the SME market, despite the economic and health context we have been experiencing since March 2020. This achievement comes in addition to the opening in July 2019 of LA MAISON DE LA PME, a place of multidimensional support for small and medium-sized enterprises, in order to meet the needs of the leaders of these structures, on the one hand, and the dynamic economic fabric of Cameroon, on the regions.
Other hand. In total, more than 600 business leaders have been trained and coached over the past two years in various fields such as finance, project management and business creation, through more than fifty training workshops, carried out despite a six-month closure period in 2020, due to restrictive measures related to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is an opportunity to thank partners such as GICAM, AFD/PROPARCO, as well as all the socio-professional groups and local expertise firms involved in this programme.
The financing needs of SMEs were addressed through the signing, on 17 November 2020, of an agreement for the granting of a line of financing for a total amount of XAF 10 billion between the European Investment Bank and Société Générale Cameroun, which allows the said companies to have resources that can finance working capital as well as investment needs, but also the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the State of Cameroon through the Ministry of Finance in December 2020, through which Société Générale Cameroun has committed to open a credit line of XAF 25 billion, to refinance Cameroonian SMEs that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Société Générale Cameroun’s action is therefore multi-faceted and addresses various stakeholders. Among the fifteen or so banking institutions present in Cameroon, we stand out, beyond our leadership, by our status as a universal bank present in all ten regions. Société Générale Cameroun, a trusted partner of its customers, is resolutely committed to the positive transformation of our society and our economy, to work together to build a better and sustainable future. Our mission is to accompany our customers, whether they are individuals, companies or organizations, in the realisation of their projects, by assessing with them the opportunities and risks and by imagining the relevant solutions that will allow them to materialise.
At the service of Cameroon and Cameroonians, Société Générale Cameroun is a major partner of the State and a key economic player. The international and national distinctions that our bank has received over the years are the fruit of our institution’s continued solid performance and illustrate the tireless efforts of our teams and management. Thus, in 2020 alone, Société Générale Cameroun has, in addition to the award given by the Cameroon Ministry of Finance, received the following distinctions: the “Leader in Trade in Cameroon” awarded by Global Trade Review – Africa 2020 magazine; for the 2nd consecutive year, the “Best Bank in Cameroon 2020” and “Best Trade Finance Provider 2020” awards by Global Finance Magazine; the “Decade of Excellence Banking Group Cameroon 2020” awarded by Global Banking & Finance Review magazine; for the 2nd consecutive year, the “Market Leader in Cash Management in Cameroon” award and “Best Service in Cash Management in Cameroon”, awarded by Euromoney magazine; for the 8th consecutive time, the “Best Bank in Cameroon 2020” award and for the 6th consecutive time the “Best Investment Bank in Cameroon 2020” award, by EMEA Finance magazine.
In addition to our commercial activities, our social commitment has been maintained with the continued support of the Chaîne des Foyers Saint Nicodème (support for street children), the promotion of Cameroonian art through the acquisition of a large collection of works from local artists and financial support for the MAM Gallery and Doual’Art art centres, regular support for several organisations working in the field of health (fight against sickle cell disease, HIV, breast cancer,community health care), as well as the financing of several programmes to support the socio-professional integration of young people, including young girls from the North West and South West regions.
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