AFRICA – Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) and Belgian Investment Company (BIO) have created the ACEP Group to consolidate microfinance institution affiliates of ACEP (Agence de Crédit pour l’Entreprise Privée) international in Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Madagascar, and Niger.

ACEP Group has already acquired controlling stakes in ACEP Burkina Faso, ACEP Madagascar and ACEP Niger and is aiming to acquire ACEP Cameroun as well.

According to a report by Micro-Capital, the consolidation of ACEP activities is aimed at maintaining the MFIs’ commitments to their social missions.

The unification of ACEP is also aimed at improving the governance of MFIs, boost their access to refinancing and strengthen their ability to work together to roll out digital financial services.

The institutions will also be able to access management consulting services from ACEP Conseil, another subsidiary of the ACEP Group.

The formation of the group “reflects the growing awareness of a world that is changing, faced with a profusion of new disruptive economic models”, said Thierry Perreau, the Managing Director of ACEP Group.

Perreau added that the group is aimed at “blending together the warmth of local relationships and the best technological innovations”.

Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is a France-based investor in small and medium-sized enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa.

Founded in 2002, I&P manages four funds, the largest of which has a volume of EUR 54 million (USD 60 million).

Through these funds, I&P invests amounts ranging from EUR 30,000 (USD 33,000) to EUR 3 million (USD 3.3 million) in small and medium-sized enterprises.

BIO on the other hand, is a government owned investment company that is aims to support a “strong private sector in developing countries, to enable them to gain access to growth and sustainable development within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals

ACEP Group has 1,300 employees serving 140,000 entrepreneurs with a loan portfolio of EUR 110 million (USD 122 million).

In future, the group revealed that it also plans to expand into additional countries.