The Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, Achille BASSILEKIN III, received in audience on 5 May 2023, Mission of the Regional Directorate of the Promotion and Participation in Economic Cooperation Corporation (PROPARCO) led by Mrs. Virginie DAGO, Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Cameroon. The meeting took place in the audience room of the ministerial department.
The audience was part of the implementation of bilateral cooperation between MINPMEESA and AFD, notably through its subsidiary PROPARCO in Douala. Achille BASSILEKIN III and his hosts discussed the issue of financing SMEs, one of the thorny problems that plague this sector, with the aim of exploring new horizons to better take advantage of financing opportunities offered by the French side. “Today’s meeting aimed at informing the Minister of the results of Choose Africa. We were also able to understand the Minister’s priorities, especially regarding his various initiatives. We also explored how to strengthen the support that PROPARCO and its financial partners as well, can offer to SMEs and VSEs, in their important role in mobilising financing for entrepreneurs in Cameroon,” stated PROPARCO’s CEO for Central Africa and Cameroon. In figures, Choose Africa is more than 2.5 billion euros dedicated to SME financing by 2022, including 1.5 billion euros in credit lines and guarantees and 1 billion in equity. The 2nd edition of the ChooseAfrica initiative, whose phase 2 is being implemented according to the Government’s priorities, was also on the agenda during the audience.
This visit follows the audience granted to Mrs Virginie DAGO, Director of the French Development Agency on 27 March 2023. The objective of this meeting was to present MINPMEESA main challenges related to the development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy actors and Craftspeople, in order to obtain the support from AFD to meet them. At the end of the audience, Achille BASSILEKIN III, Minister of SMESEH said he was satisfied: “At the end of this exchange, I am convinced that we will better take advantage of the financing opportunities offered to us by the French party, but also, following our visit to Paris a few days ago, to better align the mechanisms France is now supporting us in the development and growth of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. But also to see what PROPARCO, as an instrument for supporting the private sector in Africa and Cameroon in particular, can enable us to explore in terms of better prospects.”
It is good to remind that the Promotion and Participation in Economic Cooperation Corporation (PROPARCO) has been working for 45 years to promote sustainable development in the economic, social and environmental sectors. It contributes in the financing and support of companies and financial institutions in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Its operations aim at strengthening the contribution of private actors to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the international community in 2015. To this end, PROPARCO finances companies whose activities help create jobs and decent incomes, supply essential goods and services and fight against climate change. It also helps build sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty.