GABON – The National Agency for the Promotion of Investments in Gabon (ANPI-Gabon) has signed an agreement of CFAF 500 million (US$900k) with the African Financial Company (Cofina) to support SMEs, to provide technical and financial support to local businesses during their first 3 years of existence.

Both technical and financial support will also provide businesses with expertise in business sectors and a capacity to generate flows. Note that small and medium-sized enterprises will be selected on the basis of criteria defined by the two entities.

According to the Director General of ANPI-Gabon, Gabriel Ntougou, this agreement is part of the improvement of the competitiveness of SMEs and the establishment of an institutional support mechanism for the private sector.

“This agreement is part of the mission of ANPI-Gabon which aims to improve the competitiveness of SMEs and develop an institutional support system for the private sector,” said Gabriel Ntougou. Between reimbursement guarantees, expertise in the field of activity, ability to generate flows and support business, SMEs will be selected on the basis of criteria defined by ANPI-Gabon and Cofina SA.

Yvan N’na Mboma, Director General of Cofina, in turn specified that this type of financing is aimed particularly at a category of companies that does not have access to financing from traditional banks.

“We are doing a first test with an envelope of 500 million CFA francs and we believe that over the next few months, this envelope may be reconsidered,” specified Yvan N’Na Mboma, CEO of Cofina SA.

According to the latter, 70% of Cofina SA’s activities are devoted to financing SMEs. His company is interested in financing a customer segment deemed too risky by traditional banks.

ANPI-Gabon, which has an SME file and a business directory whose files are monitored through the Digital Investment Window (GNI), ensures that this agreement is a viable solution for SMEs.

“A clear partnership for all the partners for both Cofina SA and ANPI-Gabon,” commented Gabriel Ntougou. This initiative aims to encourage economic operators to specialize in specific sectors, in order to better participate in the diversification of the Gabonese economy.

Liked this article? Subscribe to DealStreet Africa News, our regular email newsletter with the latest news, deals and insights from Africa’s business, economy and more. SUBSCRIBE HERE