The African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises (AGF West Africa S.A.) has issued a loan portfolio guarantee amounting to 2.5 billion FCFA to Société Générale Burkina Faso to support SMEs, women entrepreneurship and climate-focused businesses in Burkina Faso. The signing ceremony took place at the Maison de la PME of Société Générale Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou.

This portfolio guarantee is backed by the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth program, a joint initiative of the AfDB and the African Guarantee Fund, which aims at releasing up to $3 billion in loans to women  entrepreneurs in Africa.

Signed by Harold COFFI, Managing Director of Société Générale Burkina Faso and Bendjin KPEGLO, Managing Director of AGF West Africa, this agreement will allow Société Générale Burkina Faso, on the one hand, to further increase its commitment to the SME/SMI segment, in line with the activities of the Maison de la PME created by the bank and, on the other hand, to promote the development of green entrepreneurship and women’s leadership in the business community.

As part of the signing ceremony, Mr. Bendjin KPEGLO, Managing Director of AGF West Africa, said:

“Limited access to finance is a major obstacle to the development of African SMEs. AGF is committed to improving SMEs’ access to finance by providing financial institutions with guarantee solutions and capacity building support. Our partnership with Société Générale in Burkina Faso aims at strengthening the competitiveness of businesses, particularly Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, including those owned and managed by women (through the AFAWA program) and those whose activities are geared toward protecting the environment.

For his part, Mr. Harold COFFI, Managing Director of Société Générale Burkina Faso, said: “The Société Générale Group, which has been present in Africa for 100 years, reaffirms its loyalty to the continent and its firm commitment to supporting the development of local economies. Thus, through the “Grow with Africa” initiative launched in 2018, Société Générale intends to actively contribute to the sustainable development of Africa around 4 priorities which are: to support the development of African SMEs, to participate in the financing of infrastructure, to finance agricultural sectors and the renewable energy sector and finally to promote financial inclusion by supporting female entrepreneurship in particular.

As a privileged partner of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, Société Générale Burkina Faso embodies this ambition of financing the economy on a daily basis. This commitment to the African Guarantee Fund will serve to increase the financing capacity of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and promote the country’s economic growth. Société Générale Burkina Faso is fully committed to this strategic axis of the Group, with the creation of the Maison de la PME in 2019 and the strengthening of its collaboration with various international actors involved in the development of SMEs. Among these players is the African Guarantee Fund (AGF West Africa SA), with which Société Générale Burkina Faso is proud to sign this partnership agreement today in order to guarantee a portfolio of new loans to Burkinabe SMEs.”