The Food & Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) initiative, launched in 2022 by Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, alongside the European Union, the G7 and the African Union, aims to strengthen food security in the most vulnerable countries.
While small-scale farming makes a significant contribution to improved food security and sustainable economic growth in Cameroon, it suffers from a financing deficit that hampers its development. Proparco, a subsidiary of the Agence française de développement group, which has been working alongside private-sector players for over 45 years in the service of a fairer, more sustainable world, has decided to commit itself to supporting these farms, in line with the efforts made through the FARM initiative.
Within this framework, Proparco has granted Advans Cameroun an ARIZ TPE portfolio guarantee of 1.3 billion CFA francs (equivalent to 2 million euros). The ARIZ TPE portfolio guarantee offered by Proparco to Advans Cameroun builds on the solid partnership established between the two parties since 2010, as demonstrated by the five guarantees granted by Proparco to Advans Cameroun.
Advans Cameroun is a financial institution licensed as a Microfinance Institution, which began operations in 2007. Its mission is to provide financial services that meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, craftspeople, traders, entrepreneurs and their families in Cameroon, in a sustainable and responsible manner.
This new ARIZ TPE guarantee consists of a risk sub-participation covering 80% of a total loan portfolio of 1.6 billion FCFA (2.5 million euros), to be deployed throughout Cameroon. The aim is to support Advans Cameroun in the development of its credit activity in the country's rural areas, and particularly in the agricultural sector, through support for small-scale farmers.
For Advans Cameroun and Proparco, the financial inclusion of very small, small and medium-sized enterprises (VSSMEs) and the improvement of local production capacities are priorities.
"We are delighted to be able to set up this ARIZ TPE portfolio guarantee with our partner Advans Cameroun, and thus contribute to the development of its credit activity in the agricultural sector, particularly in support of small-scale farmers in Cameroon. This project is part of France's Choose Africa initiative to support entrepreneurs in Africa," says Yann Jacquemin, Deputy Head of Proparco's Financial Institutions and Inclusion Division, and Head of Guarantees for Development.
"Advans Cameroun is delighted to renew this strategic partnership with Proparco, which, through the portfolio guarantee mechanism, has been supporting our subsidiary for over 10 years in its efforts to develop financial inclusion in Cameroon. More than 70% of our customers claim to have seen a positive change in their lives and daily lives thanks to Advans Cameroun financing, so the impact is real and measurable. We are more determined than ever to play a key role in local economic development, by stepping up financial support targeted at small businesses and farms in the region, and by positioning ourselves as their first choice partner. Advans Cameroun will continue to cooperate closely with Proparco to promote financial inclusion that is more agile, more responsible and therefore more impactful," Mamie Kalonda, CEO of Advans Cameroun.
The signing ceremony took place on January 26, 2024 in Douala, and was attended by Thierry Marchand, French Ambassador to Cameroon, Mehdi Tanani, Proparco's Regional Director for Central Africa, and Sandrine Ziwa, Deputy CEO of Advans Cameroun. The signing of the agreement was preceded by a visit to benefitares in the field (see picture below).