Nigeria’s vital sectors will receive $1 billion in commitments from Proparco, a French development finance organization (DFI).
In its fifteen years of business in the nation, Proparco has strengthened clients’ financial capacity and provided loans to a wide range of clients, including start-ups in the tech, agribusiness, and renewable energy sectors as well as growth-stage companies and local and pan-African financial institutions.
Speaking to The Guardian in Lagos, Françoise Lombard, CEO of Proparco, stated that banks and investment funds, which finance SMEs and start-ups in important development sectors like agriculture, healthcare, education, energy, and financial services, handle the majority of the commitment.
45 percent of the €2.3 billion that Proparco committed to the global community in 2022, according to Lombard, was allocated to African companies through Digital Africa, a venture capital platform that focuses on the continent, and Choose Africa.
She went on to say that in the past five years, Choose Africa has committed €3.5 billion and helped over 40,000 firms and hundreds of thousands of micro-entrepreneurs.
“Africa holds the answers to many of the major challenges of the 21st century. Unlocking its entrepreneurial dynamism is at the core of our strategy for the next five years. This is why we aim to concentrate a large share of our resources on the continent. As we mark an important milestone in Nigeria, we are committing to support the African private sector more effectively by enabling entrepreneurs to unleash their potential,” she said.
She stated that in order to accomplish the aim, the company plans to collaborate with a few local organizations, like First City Monument Bank (FCMB), and support additional women-led enterprises over the course of the next 12 months.
Jean Guyonnet-Dupérat, Regional Director of Proparco in Nigeria, stated that the organization has developed into one of the leading players driving growth in the energy, finance, technology, and climate sectors.
Through the funding of a €325,000 technical assistance (TA) program, Proparco and the European Union (EU) assisted FCMB in developing its non-financial services offering last year. Its goal was to increase the financial inclusion of women entrepreneurs and local very small and medium-sized businesses (VSEs).
Along with making a $5 million equity investment in the Ventures Platform, it also helped Coronation Merchant Bank (FCMB) obtain a $20 million trade finance guarantee facility.