Fair trade: A European microfinance fund for African producers
A specialist rural microfinance fund supporting fair trade and organic small business (FEFISOL) was officially launched on Thursday July 21st.It was created by the European Investment Bank, the
Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
and a broad grouping of development bodies, social investors and microfinance service providers.
With a capital of €15 million, FEFISOL will fund microfinance institutions and producer organisations across Africa. These will benefit from a subsidised loan provided by AFD that absorbs foreign exchange loss on local currencies, the European Investment Bank explained.
It will bring dedicated support for fair trade and organic producer organisations.
In addition, technical assistance will also be provided to help microfinance institutions develop new products, improve business planning and develop legal and human resources capabilities.
"Microfinance is key to enhancing economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. The FEFISOL initiative will reach remote rural communities, helping small businesses develop and progressively reduce poverty," Marie-Hélène Loison, Head of the private sector arm of AFD, told Xinhua news agency.