AFRICA – International Finance Corporation (IFC), African and European partners have launched Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa to support private sector growth in Africa.
The Alliance will combine and focus the technical and financial strengths of its members to improve Africa’s business environment and support the growth and success of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), women in business, and young entrepreneurs.
In addition to its core members, the Alliance aims to bring together multilateral and bilateral development banks, bilateral donors, and African national development banks.
Alliance core members include the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI).
In addition, the Alliance boasts the French Treasury, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Proparco, the private sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement Group (AFD Group).
The launch of the Alliance comes as African economies recover and rebuild from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with small businesses seen as important drivers of job creation, innovation, and the delivery of essential goods and services.
The creation of the Alliance reflects the strong commitment of African, European, multilateral, and bilateral institutions to bolster Africa’s private sector amid ongoing African and global economic challenges.
The platform’s members today signed the working arrangement for the Alliance with IFC to serve as the Alliance Secretariat helping to coordinate the activities and operationalize the initiative in partnership with the French Treasury.
“IFC is proud to be part of this initiative, which deepens the partnership between international partners to give small businesses the support they need and deserve,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.
Through a private-sector-focused cooperation platform, the Alliance will support the roll-out of new initiatives to expand financing options for Africa’s SMEs, which cite a lack of access to finance as a major constraint to growth.
According to the World Bank, SMEs account for up to 90 percent of all businesses in sub-Saharan Africa and represent 38 percent of the region’s GDP.
In addition to financing projects, the Alliance will support reforms aimed at strengthening the business and investment climate across Africa and facilitate the growth of private sector initiatives in more sustainable green and digital sectors.
Banking and non-banking financial institutions, other public and private sector organizations, and business and innovation training providers, may also join the Alliance.
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