The thirty-second issue of Proparco’s Private Sector & Development review: “Financing SMEs in Africa: What’s New?”, also marks the tenth anniversary of the creation of the review, and this issue is exceptional in many respects.
Indeed, the importance of financing African SMEs is a crucial subject for the sustainable development of the continent. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has underlined this on several occasions. It is for this reason that Proparco, and AFD Group as a whole, launched the “Choose Africa” initiative in March 2019. This mechanism aims to deploy EUR 2.5bn for SMEs and start-ups in Africa by 2022, via a comprehensive range of complementary financing solutions.
We therefore felt that it was more than legitimate to devote an issue to this theme, or should I rather say dedicate an issue to the subject again, as the first PS&D review was launched ten years ago, in 2009, and already focused on this subject. A decade later, we wanted to explore the progress and changes in this field.
As with each issue, we have given a voice to a wide range of contributors. Entrepreneurs, economists or fintech experts, they all allow us to take a fresh look at the subject of SME financing, have a feeling from the ground of the difficulties still encountered by SMEs in Africa, and see the possible practical solutions.
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