Proparco, the French Development Agency’s private sector financing arm, has concluded a US$10 million Tier II long-term debt financing with African Banking Corporation Botswana (“BancABC Botswana”) to accelerate the bank’s activity towards supporting the growth of SMEs and commercial enterprises. With the current global economic challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, this facility reaffirms Proparco’s long-term commitment to financial institutions and MSMEs, both key contributors to economic resilience on the continent.
Despite their crucial role in most African economies, MSMEs often lack the funds necessary to support their activity and grow their businesses. Supporting MSMEs’ ability to create jobs and provide essential goods and services is core to Proparco’s development mandate, particularly in times of economic downturn. BancABC Botswana is a subsidiary of the Pan African banking group, Atlas Mara Ltd, a financial services company listed on the London Stock Exchange and operating in seven Sub-Saharan African countries. This new Partnership is Proparco’s 2nd collaboration with the Atlas Mara Group and its first ever operation in Botswana.
It is estimated that the Partnership will help support over 4,500 direct and indirect jobs in the coming years, which will contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 8 (Economic Growth and decent jobs). This Partnership also contributes to the French initiative Choose Africa, launched by the AFD Group in 2019, which ambitions to dedicate €2.5Bn to accelerate the growth of MSMEs in Africa by 2022. As of December 2019, more than €1Bn had already been deployed on the continent through this initiative.