The AfDB launches support scheme for Gabonese SMEs

May 14, 2012

The Gabonese economy is little diversified and dependent on natural resources, coupled with an underdeveloped network of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Gabonese economy is little diversified and dependent on natural resources, coupled with an underdeveloped network of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). According to the CNPG employers union, there are less than 1,000 SMEs and 10,000 very small companies. To improve this situation, the AfDB has announced the introduction of a finance scheme dedicated to SMEs in Gabon. The institution will invest $10 million (€7.7 million) to support SMEs through several finance mechanisms focused on three areas. These are loans, guaranties and equity acquisition, according to an AfDB press release published by Info Plus Gabon. Also inclined to facilitate SME growth, the Gabonese government organised a meeting on April 25th with the sector's economic players, Le Griot newspaper reports. SME managers explained that their financial needs are not met, mainly because of the high interest rate of ten percent applied on loans, but also because of the difficulties providing the guaranties required by banks. The government has therefore come to agreements with several emerging economies (China, Singapore and India) in order to answer the private sector's expectations in terms of support, development of the financial services offerings and ease of access to these services, African Economic Outlook website reports.