PAMECAS was created in 1995 as a project implemented as part of the Senegalese government's international cooperation policy. At the end of the project in 1999, nineteen (19) savings and credit mutuals had been set up thanks to the commitment and determination of the people who quickly joined despite an unfavorable economic context.
In order to perpetuate and professionalize these young autonomous entities, a second level structure was created in 1999: the Union des Mutuelles du Partenariat pour la Mobilisation de l'Epargne et le Crédit (UM PAMECAS). This network currently has 28 affiliated mutuals.
PAMECAS is now one of the leading microfinance institutions in Senegal. Through its commitment to micro-entrepreneurs and MSMEs, particularly in the trade, agriculture and livestock sectors, the microfinance institution plays an important role in social development in Senegal. It offers credit and savings products to its 850,000 members and currently has over 90,000 borrowers.
By granting loans totaling 8 million euros (5.2 billion CFA francs) to PAMECAS, the French and Italian development finance institutions will enable PAMECAS to expand its portfolio of microcredits to Senegalese entrepreneurs.
This is the first loan granted by these two institutions to PAMECAS and the first joint operation between Proparco and CDP in the microfinance sector.
This project is part of Proparco's and CDP's response plans to the crisis caused by COVID-19. As such, it benefits from EFSD guarantees from the European Union's External Investment Plan designed to support small businesses affected by the crisis and encourage local banks to finance them more.
This operation should benefit more than 3,800 micro-entrepreneurs, the majority of whom are women entrepreneurs. It will therefore contribute to the 2X Challenge, a commitment made by nearly 20 Development Finance Institutions to raise $15 billion for gender-lens investment in 2021-2022.
"Proparco is pleased to partner with CDP and to benefit from the support of the European Union to support one of the leading microfinance institutions in Senegal. The impact of PAMECAS on micro-entrepreneurs, particularly women, makes it a key contributor to Senegal's economic and social development and a key partner for our institutions in their commitment to support MSMEs affected by the COVID-19 crisis," said Pierre Maspoli, in charge of Proparco's activities in Senegal.
"This partnership between Proparco and PAMECAS is a new illustration of France's commitment, reiterated by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron during the New Africa-France Summit, to support the development of African entrepreneurship. Since 2018, more than 2.5 billion euros have been committed by Proparco and AFD as part of the Choose Africa initiative," said H.E. Philippe Lalliot, Ambassador of France to Senegal.
This operation will therefore contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 10 (Reduced Inequality).