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A US $1 million Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) grant agreement to finance the Seychelles MSME Development Project, was signed on Monday, December 29, 2014, between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Seychelles. Pierre Laporte, Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, and Gabriel Negatu, Regional Director for East Africa, signed on behalf of the Government of Seychelles and the Bank, respectively.
The Seychelles MSME Development Project is aimed at enhancing the growth of Seychelles MSMEs, in order to promote inclusive growth through addressing the two main constraints to MSME development in Seychelles: (a) access to finance and (b) entrepreneurial skills. The project is complementary to the Seychelles Inclusive Private Sector Development and Competitiveness Programme (IPSDCP), a Bank Programme Based Operation (general budget support), approved by the Bank Board of Directors on December 3, 2013.
FAPA support during the two years of the project will result in the formulation of a Seychelles MSME Development Strategy and strengthening the capacities of two main government agencies in charge of MSME promotion in Seychelles, namely (a) the Small Business Finance Agency (SBFA), an independent credit facility that provides micro-loans; and (b) the Small Enterprise Promotion Agency (SEnPA), which provides training and capacity building of MSMEs. Commenting on the project, AfDB’s Negatu said, “Promoting the creation and growth of domestic MSMEs is key to economic competitiveness and diversification in Seychelles. This project will support the Seychellois Government in their efforts to promote entrepreneurship and the role of small businesses in the development of the country.”
FAPA is a multi-donor thematic trust fund that provides grant funding for technical assistance and capacity building to support implementation of the Bank’s Private Sector Development Strategy. The Governments of Japan and Austria and the African Development Bank, are active contributors to the fund, which to date has provided over US $50 million to 51 projects in 38 countries across the African continent. The FAPA portfolio includes regional and national projects aimed at improving the business environment, strengthening financial systems, building private sector infrastructure, promotion of trade and development of micro, small and medium enterprises. For more information on FAPA: http://www.afdb.org/en/topics-and-sectors/initiatives-partnerships/fund-for-african-private-sector-assistance/enhanced-private-sector-assistance-for-africa-epsa-initiative/ or firstname.lastname@example.org.