BOAD increases initiatives to ease access to finance for SMEs in the WAEMU

Feb 23, 2012

Access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) remains difficult, mainly because these type of businesses struggle to present guaranties to commercial banks.

According to Vincent Akue, founder of Vision Afrique Conseils, a consulting company specialising in access to credit for SMEs, the contribution of SMEs to the WAEMU region's gross domestic product is 33 percent, whereas SME only receive 15 percent of credits from banks.

This is why the West African Development Bank (BOAD) recently invested CFAF 10 billion (€15.2 million) in the National Bank for Economic Development (BNDE), which is being created in Senegal.

General administrator of the BNDE Ndeye Khady Gueye said the Senegalese authorities are determined to make it a reference finance institution and a leader in the mid term in providing services and financial products to SMEs.

According the BOAD vice-president Bassary Touré, this project fits within the BOAD strategy, which promotes SMEs in the WAEMU region.

This strategy includes the creation of SME banks in each country of the WAEMU in order to establish incentives for SMEs through the current financial system.

It also consists of strengthening banks' capacities to finance SMEs projects and contribute to developing guaranty institutions, as well as improving the monitoring of borrowing among SMEs.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801301325-ADNFCR