SME financing: Experts call for new measures to improve business climate in Africa

Jun 20, 2013

Banks are reluctant to lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because of the current unfavorable business climate in Africa, according to the participants of the "New York Forum Africa".

Banks are reluctant to lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because of the current unfavorable business climate in Africa, according to the participants of the "New York Forum Africa".

The issue of the financing of SMEs - which account for about 90 percent of the African economy - was indeed the heart of the second edition of the forum, which brought together politicians, experts and actors in the financial and commercial sector in Libreville, Gabon, from June 14 to 16th.

The development of intra-African trade, which represents between 10 to 12 percent of the total trade of the continent, is an opportunity for the development of SMEs. However, it is hampered by the lack of transport infrastructure.

"Congo has no terrestrial communications with Gabon. There are no roads, no railway. I can say that there is not even air transport. The situation is the same in Cameroon and the Central African Republic
",
,"
said Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, quoted by Xinhua news agency.

The heads of state of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) - gathered for an extraordinary summit in the Gabonese capital following the start of the forum -
have
asked their central bank to implement "innovative products for the financing of infrastructure".


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