100,000 African MSMEs to benefit from US$2 million funding
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The African Union Development Agency NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Ecobank Group (ecobank.com), its strategic partner on the development of the 100,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Initiative, are set to launch the financing component worth US$2 million effective 27 May 2021.
AUDA-NEPAD launched the 100,000 MSMEs Programme to accelerate African economic transformation, provide the needed skills, and build resilience against the economic shock triggered by the global pandemic. The ‘100 000 MSMEs’ initiative seeks to build the capacity of 1,000,000 enterprises in Africa through entrepreneurial and business training to improve access to finance and new markets while establishing networks for support and incubation to bolster their success.
“Across the globe, MSMEs are the biggest and the best engine of innovation, social transformation and economic development and growth. AUDA-NEPAD is deeply convinced that Africa structural transformation will be driven by youth and women led businesses and innovations,” said Amine Idriss Adoum AUDA-NEPAD, Director of Programme Delivery & Coordination Directorate.
AUDA-NEPAD and the Ecobank Group announced their collaboration in May 2020 and agreed to tackle three main pillars in supporting MSMEs in coming out of the devastating economic impact of COVID-19: namely, MSME Academy, MSME Finance and MSME Marketplace. The MSME Academy was launched in August 2020 in 8 countries. Both institutions will now proceed to launch the MSME Finance pillar in the same countries, namely Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Togo. A total sum of $ 2.0million will be extended in the form of working capital to beneficiaries who meet the set criteria across the eight (8) countries in this first phase.
“After an unprecedented year in 2020, the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across African economies with an increased and urgent need to support MSMEs Businesses which are the backbone of our economies. As a financial institution, we reaffirm our commitment to support the ‘100,000 MSMEs’ initiative. Following the successful launch of the MSME Academy, we are now going ahead with the financing component. We look forward to celebrating the businesses who will successfully go through this training program and who will meet the criteria for financial support” said Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Ecobank Group Executive Commercial Banking.
The financing programme seeks to expand the reach of 100,000 MSMEs initiative to youth across the continent and enable linkages into the wider entrepreneurship ecosystem that benefit the youth after training; generate relevant data on MSMEs to enhance evidence-based policy recommendations to AU decision bodies as well as facilitate engagement with ecosystem partners such as financiers and links to trade and markets.
It will also enable bottom-up engagement with youth and women entrepreneurs to ensure that youth and gender development policies benefit from their voice and participation as citizens of the continent.
MSME can register through the provided link: https://ecobank.com/rw/commercial-banking/msmefinancing
Registrations close on 21 May 2021.
The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD is the development agency of the African Union, coordinating and executing priority regional and continental development projects to promote regional integration towards the accelerated realization of Agenda 2063 – Africa’s vision and action plan. We are mandated to strengthen capacity of Member States and regional bodies.
About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Group’)
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group. The Ecobank Group employs over 14,000 people and serves about 28 million customers in the consumer, commercial and corporate banking sectors across 33 African countries. The Group has a banking license in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, the UK and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth, and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchanges in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan.