Lenders should step up support for Africa’s SMEs, says bank

30 Jun 17

The African Development Bank has called on financial markets to do more to help small and medium-sized businesses in Africa.

Credit providers needs to increase their lending by at least $135bn to meet the demand of Africa’s SMEs, the bank says.

The AfDB also believes financial markets need to provide more diverse and innovative financing instruments, as well as more affordable loans.

In a statement released on Tuesday – the United Nations’ Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day – the bank said: “The entrepreneurial culture is vibrant with about 80% of Africans viewing entrepreneurship as a good career opportunity.

“The continent has the highest share in the world of adults starting or running new businesses, but often in sectors where productivity remains low.”

African’s “new industrialisation strategies” and “dynamism” need to be harnessed, the bank statement said, as this has the potential to create quality jobs.

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises represent around 90% of global economic activity, UN statistics show.

The AfDB is launching a number of new programmes that are designed to help move Africa toward its industrialisation goals.  

In 2016 it launched the Fashionomics [the economics of fashion] initiative to increase Africa’s participation in the global textile industry supply chain.

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