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Proparco has renewed its partnership with Société Générale Cameroun through an ARIZ portfolio guarantee of XAF 13 billion (€20 million) to support Cameroon's SMEs in their efforts to build a sustainable and resilient economy.

The ARIZ risk-sharing program of the AFD Group (Agence française de développement) helps to improve access to financing for very small, small and medium-sized local businesses, which often find it difficult to meet the security requirements of financial institutions.

The ARIZ guarantee enables banks to reduce the level of security required, by shareing the credit risk, and to be backed in the further development of their financing offers dedicated to SMEs. This program is a concrete implementation of the Choose Africa initiative launched and deployed by Proparco since 2019 to support entrepreneurship and innovation revolution in Africa.

Société Générale Cameroun has made SME support one of the key areas of its strategy and contributes in a responsible and sustainable way to the development of Cameroon's SMEs, through various financing facilities, as well as the opening of the "Maison de la PME", a platform that brings together a range of expertise and resources made available to them free of charge.

This new portfolio guarantee will help Société Générale Cameroun's SME customers, primarily in high-impact sectors such as transport, industry and retail, to grow their businesses. These measures will help to create and maintain jobs in Cameroon, while supporting more than 250 local businesses. In addition, it will contribute to MDG 1 (Eradicate poverty in all its forms everywhere in the world), MDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and MDG 10 (Reduced inequality).

"Proparco is delighted to be working with Société Générale Cameroun, a long-standing partner of the AFD Group, for the greater benefit of Cameroon's SMEs. This new collaboration will strengthen the financial inclusion and access to banking services of small and medium-sized enterprises. By backing their development thanks to our partner Société Générale Cameroun, we are implementing the ambitions of Proparco's new 2023-2027 strategy in terms of supporting entrepreneurship and reducing socio-economic inequalities," says Mehdi Tanani, Proparco's Regional Director for Central Africa.

According to Sterghios Dassarecos, CEO of Société Générale Cameroun, "This new ARIZ guarantee enables us to support companies whose contribution to the Cameroonian economy is essential, due to their number, diversity and their immersion in the productive network. It reflects Société Générale Cameroun's positioning as a major player in supporting the country's economy for six decades".