Private Sector & Development magazine articles

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A perspective on SME Financing in Africa

Admassu Tadesse DBSA
SMEs may account for the bulk of firms and employment in SSA, yet they  contribute very little to GDP. This is partly due to the financing constraints they meet. However, these firms have considerable socio-economic impacts and it is  therefore essential to support their development. In order to do so, bankers and other donors must call on the support of intermediaries that have extensive knowledge of this segment.
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Financing SMEs in a context of strong information asymmetry

Julien Lefilleur Proparco
The acuteness of information asymmetries between bankers and entrepreneurs, which cannot be offset by adequate loan securitization, constitutes one of the main stumbling blocks to SME financing in SSA. The gap between banks and SMEs can, however, be narrowed by developing financial systems that are more adapted to local contexts. In addition, by promoting sustainable guarantee funds, banks would be able to share their risks.
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Credit to the Private Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa: Developments and Issues

Emilio Sacerdoti Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF)
Despite signs of progress, SSA is still lagging compared to other regions when it comes to scaling up the volume of loans allocated to the private sector. If it is to catch up, some progress needs to be made in areas such as information dissemination, the appropriateness of bank products, the regulatory environment and loan securitization. The last aspect is essential for SME lending activities, as the latter generally cannot provide sound guarantees.
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Bank financing to SMEs: what are Africa's specificities?

Maria Soledad Martinez Peria The World Bank Group
Using bank survey data, this article compares the scale and type of bank lending to SMEs in Africa to that available outside the region. The data shows that bank financing to SMEs in Africa is less significant, more short-term, and more expensive than in other developing countries.
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Rethingking finance for Africa's small firms

Paul Collier Oxford University
African banks had just started to show interest in SMEs when the global crisis reversed the tide. The risk for SMEs is that they will suddenly be barred  access to credit whereas they need long-term financing more than ever before and Africa's financial systems are unable to meet this demand. This situation  will only improve if there is a better dissemination of information on SSA's markets that would make it easier for investors to identify high-quality SMEs.
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