Financing of SMEs: “We need structures like the DER/FJ” according to Emmanuel Macron

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The French and Senegalese Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Macky Sall attended this Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at Station F in Paris, the closing of the event “Investing together for a new alliance between Africa and Europe”, organized by the French Development Agency. The Minister Delegate General for Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth of Senegal Mr. Papa Amadou Sarr participated in the panel “Financing SMEs, vector of African growth and jobs of tomorrow”. A panel for which he was in charge of restitution to the two Heads of State.

The panel speakers also included Makhtar Diop, Executive Director, IFC, Tanja Gonner, Chair of the Board, GIZ and Co-Chair of the Practitioner Network, Grace Muliisa, Managing Director Ecobank Uganda, Odile Renaud-Basso , President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Jean-Michel Severino, President, Investisseurs et Partenaires and Bruno Wenn, President, European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) brought out two main ideas during the discussions: – The need to mobilize actors and release funding. Moreover, a number of players are resolutely moving in this direction. – The need for support for VSEs/SMEs so that they are solid players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This panel was preceded by the intervention of Dicko Sy from Dictaf Corp and Bamba Lo from Paps Logistique, two beneficiaries of the DER/FJ who, in front of the audience, spoke about their projects and the support of the DER/ FJ. During the workshop on SME financing, Mr. Papa Amadou Sarr also spoke out for donors. According to the General Delegate of the DER/FJ, these two young entrepreneurs, like many others in Senegal and in Africa, do not need help, they need investment and the confidence of banks and other donors.

Speaking following the various restitutions, the Senegalese and French Presidents indicated that they were in tune with the speakers. For President Macky Sall, “Africa is special because of the informal nature of its economy”. It therefore invites donors to “consider Africa as it is” and to adapt its financing methods to its realities. Moreover, he underlines, “the DER/FJ is an example that I like to cite. I had noticed that the banks did not lend to young people, which is why the State of Senegal had to replace them to support the entrepreneurial dynamic. The DER/FJ has succeeded in this bet, to date it has “financed more than 150 million euros for the benefit of young people and women with an excellent recovery rate”, indicated President Macky Sall.

Emmanuel Macron also praised the model of the DER / FJ. “You are rightly giving me lessons,” he will say. He believes that “the challenge is organizational, we would have to see how to support these target entrepreneurs and find them billions of euros for their financing. This is why we need structures like the DER/FJ”.

According to him, it is necessary to leave the channels of usual interlocutors to organize differently and to go towards the entrepreneurs of the informal one. But it’s not just public funding, it’s also private funding. Emmanuel Macron specifies that it is up to the public to “take the share of risks that others do not want to take. We need to build guarantee funds that will cover the first losses; the share of risk that the private sector does not want to take. We will thus be able to mobilize hundreds of billions of financing for the African continent. »

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