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Webinar: 2021 Outlook -- The new normal and how financial institutions can continue to offer responsible financial services

Jan 21, 2021 | Global, Virtual

The EIB West and Central Africa SME Banking and Microfinance Academy 2020-2021

Webinar series

Making Finance Work For Africa (MFW4A) and the IPC, Horus and IECD Consortium, within the context of the European Investment Bank (EIB) TA Financial sector programme for West and Central Africa are hosting a series of four (4) webinars for banks and microfinance institutions of these two (2) sub regions.

This second webinar entitled: 2021 Outlook: The new normal and how financial institutions can continue to offer responsible financial services, will cover topics around business recovery and operating in the “new normal”.

Date: 21st  January 2021, 01 pm (Abidjan) / 02 pm (Cotonou, Paris, Frankfurt, Douala, Kinshasa)

NB: The webinar will be held in French, with simultaneous translation into English. 


The expected outcomes of this webinar session are as follows:

  • The audience will have learned what the main challenges are for a continued financial service provision to MSMEs.
  • Participants will have gained insight on how major players (one banks, one MFI) in the region tackling the challenges caused by the pandemic and how they ensure their business continuity in 2021.
  • Participants will have learned from two DFI representatives what has been done on their end to support their FI clients in these times of change.
  • Participants had the opportunity to advance suggestions on how DFIs can further support.



Opening message

Ms. Jane Feehan, Head of Office Representation, Cote d’Ivoire, EIB


Ms. Abban Nana Araba, Head of Consumer Banking, Ecobank

Mr. Ruben Dieudonné, Regional Director, West and Central Africa, Baobab Group and CEO of Baobab Côte d’Ivoire

Mr. Olivier Edelman, Head of Microfinance Unit, EIB


Mr. Hugues Kamewe, Financial Sector Advisor, MFW4A and Mr. Jean-Claude Thetika, Managing Director, Fond pour l’Inclusion Financière (DRC)



The appearance of Covid-19 has caused a shock to the global economy and the uncertainty around the pathway to recovery remains very high. After navigating through a volatile business environment in 2020, financial institutions now have to deal with new paradigms as the year 2021 comes. According to Fitch Rating, the outlook 2021 for the African banking sector is stable as operational activities recover gradually, however it might take up to two years before banks return to their pre-pandemic performance levels. The shape of recovery is uncertain and slow against weak local currencies, asset deterioration and the shock caused on key economic sectors and actors, including MSMEs. According to McKinsey, African Banks‘ return on equity could fall between 5% and 15% percentage points over the period 2019-2021. And yet, their role will be key to ensure lending continuity.

EIB’s mission clearly supports motions to:

•            Ensure the provision of financial services in line with the regulatory requirements, and

•            Help partner financial institutions to continue business operations on a credit worthy basis, proactively managing present and future NPLs and ensuring the safety of customer deposits.

In this context, financial institutions and other participants are invited to share their perspective on

•            Between prudence and economic stimulus, how can financial institutions support MSMEs in 2021, given that the moratoriums and grace periods will come to an end, hence putting additional pressure on portfolio quality while on the other hand, FIs are expected to play a central role to support the MSMEs in the recovery phase?

•            How are FIs adapting in terms of digitization, taking into account the need to reduce customer visits to branches as a precautionary Covid-19 measure, but also the necessity to have a whole digital strategy in collaboration or in competition with Fintechs?

•            How has the pandemic affected FI needs (liquidity vs. risk-sharing mechanisms) and how can DFIs support banks and MFIs recover from the crisis and disruptions caused by the pandemic to ensure business continuity and continue offering responsible financial services in 2021?


Stay turned for information regarding the next webinars in the series.

•            The importance of digitalization in times of crisis (TBD)

•            Gender finance as opportunity in crisis times (TBD)