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As part of the Africa Financial Industry Summit (AFIS) to be held in Lomé on November 15 and 16, 2023, Proparco and Vista Bank Group have just signed several guarantee and loan agreements to help finance micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The strengthening of the partnership between Proparco and Vista Bank Group confirms a strong and lasting commitment to African entrepreneurship, and is in line with the French presidential initiative Choose Africa.

To support this key player in local SME financing, Proparco is providing a senior loan of €10 million and two portfolio guarantees, ARIZ and EURIZ, of €4 million and €1 million respectively. This liquidity injection and these two risk-sharing mechanisms will enable the bank to increase its financing of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), particularly those active in high-impact development sectors (agriculture, health, education, renewable energies, women's entrepreneurship).

These transactions will directly benefit micro, small and medium-sized businesses in the countries where Groupe Vista subsidiaries are based: the project will facilitate access to financing for some 1,000 entrepreneurs. Technical assistance financed by Proparco will also be provided to support the development by Vista Gui of a financial and non-financial offering specifically dedicated to women entrepreneurs.

"Proparco is proud to support the development of Groupe Vista, a pan-African player committed to Guinean entrepreneurship. This financing, via a loan and two portfolio guarantees, ARIZ and EURIZ, will support local SMEs. The EURIZ program, which is supported by the European Union, enables Proparco to support women entrepreneurs in particular, echoing the commitments made in our 2023-2027 strategy to help reduce inequalities," said Françoise Lombard, Chief Executive Officer of Proparco.

"SMEs are the DNA of our economies. They represent 80% of the economic fabric. From the outset, Vista Bank has been a bank whose vision and mission have been to support African SMEs, women and young people, the real stakeholders in the value chain of African economic development. The Group's expansion will enable us to support them in the various countries in which we operate", emphasized Vista Bank Group Chairman and CEO Simon Tiemtoré.

"Financing SMEs is at the heart of our business.  Investing in women entrepreneurs means investing in Africa's future. The driving force of female entrepreneurship cannot be ignored in our African economies. Women entrepreneurs bring a fresh perspective, boundless creativity and inspiring vision. The Proparco - Vista Bank Group partnership will strengthen a favorable ecosystem for them to succeed and take advantage of growth opportunities," said Vista Gui's Managing Director, Martial Goeh-Akue.

Launched in 2008, AFD Group's ARIZ risk-sharing program aims to reduce the financing gaps faced by small and medium-sized enterprises, notably due to a lack of collateral guarantees or difficulties in drawing up financial statements.

 The EURIZ program is implemented thanks to the resources of the European Union and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACP), and aims specifically to enable financial institutions to encourage the financing of SMEs operating in a high-impact sector.

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