"The Réseau régional formel des structures d'appui aux PME dans l'espace UEMOA" (Réseau SA-PME), was established folowing a consultative meeting of Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SMEs) support agencies of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), organized by MFW4A with the support of the Agence de Développement et d'Encadrement des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (ADEPME - Senegal) on 29th to 30th March, 2012 in Dakar, Senegal.
The current membership of the network includes nine (9) public and private structures from six (6) countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo).
The network will stimulate the exchange of information on innovative approaches and successful practices; and promote the dialogue with national and regional authorities, financial institutions and development partners on non-financial services as catalyst for the development of SMEs in the region.
The Agence Nationale pour les Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (ANPME-Benin) hosted the inaugural meeting of the Réseau SA-PME on October 30-31 2013 in Cotonou. The members appointed Officer Bearers and adopted a Charter and later a Work Plan for the period 2014-2015. Subsequently, an Online Collaborative Platform has been developed to foster information exchange among members.
Since its launch, the network has also successfully engaged with strategic partners. The WAEMU Commission and the BCEAO (regional central bank) welcomed the network and views its members as potential partners in the implementation of regional programmes for SMEs. The Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Union, the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) and the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) have also shown interest to cooperate with the network.
Furthermore, institutions in Cote d'Ivoire have also expressed interest to join the network. The next meeting is scheduled in Mid-March 2015 in Abidjan.