Tunis - 17 March 2010 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 in Tunis, a € 1.1 million equity investment for the establishment of a new microfinance bank (MicroCred Cote d’Ivoire-MCI) in Cote d’Ivoire, to facilitate financial access to Ivorian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. In addition, a € 0.7 Million technical assistance grant will be availed to MCI through the FAPA Trust Fund.
The project is designed to strengthen and professionalize financial intermediation in favour of MSMEs, thereby helping to consolidate the country’s economic growth. The implementation of the project is expected to result in the creation of 555 jobs in MCI and 35,865 (18,650 of which will be for women) in the MSMEs by 2015.
MicroCred’s strategy in Africa is based on three main pilllars:
- The establishment of new microfinance institutions in urban areas in countries with strong economic potential;
- The provision of a diversified range of products for a segmented clientele: credit and savings, but also insurance, money transfer and other financial services, meeting the needs of client; and
- Capitalizing on the successful experience of establishing Greenfield microfinance institutions in Africa .
The MCI project will be another milestone in the implementation of the Bank’s development policies for financial intermediation in favour of SMEs and promotion of the microfinance industry. This project will also strengthen coordination with development partners (EIB and AFD in this case) as well as the regional expansion of experienced technical partners with a viable business model. It is, moreover, in keeping with the country’s development objectives, in particular, revitalisation of the economy and improvement of the living conditions of the most vulnerable segments of the population.
The investment is in keeping with the Bank’s strategic framework for private sector development updated in 2008. The Bank support will:
- Increase MCI’s level of commitment to poorly served market segments;
- Facilitate access of poor households and small enterprises to diversified, high quality and sustainable financial services;
- Improve the income of poor households working in profitable microenterprises;
- Strengthen pro-poor inclusive financial systems; and
- Improve the living and working conditions of its clients as well as promote their skills.
The proposed investment is in line with Cote d’Ivoire’s national development strategy. It also aligns with the Bank Group’s strategy aimed at improving the living conditions of vulnerable groups among the Ivorian population and promoting the private sector and employment. The project will strengthen the operational potential of the microfinance sector in RCI and MCI will become a special partner to the Bank’s microfinance and private sector development policies.