International support for local MSMEs

22 October 2021 | Banking

Proparco – a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) focused on private sector development – has granted a Euriz guarantee of N$68 million to FNB Namibia in a bid to strengthen its support to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMES).
EURIZ is a guarantee facility created by AFD and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) with the European Union that aims to target the financially underserved MSMEs in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
The signing was held in Windhoek earlier this week in the presence of representatives from Proparco, FNB Namibia, AFD, the French Embassy and the EU Delegation to Namibia. FNB Namibia is a long-standing partner of Proparco and AFD Group, having already benefited from two portfolio guarantees in 2011 and 2014.
Through this partnership, via a EURIZ guarantee, Proparco seeks to contribute towards FNB Namibia’s efforts to support MSMEs operating in key sectors such as agriculture, health, education and climate, as well as youth-owned SMEs, women-owned SMEs, and start-ups.

Agricultural focus
A significant proportion of the guarantee will focus on supporting MSMEs operating in the agriculture sector, in an effort to contribute to Namibia’s food security objectives. The guarantee will be coupled with a technical assistance facility designed to provide the financial institution’s MSME customers with capacity building support.
Launched in May 2019 with the support of the European Union and the European Development Fund, and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the EURIZ guarantee aims to facilitate access to credit for MSMEs, in particular in sectors with a high development impact, in order to help them play their essential role in economic growth and job creation. It also forms part of Choose Africa, the French initiative dedicated specifically to African entrepreneurs and MSMEs.
Speaking at the event, Executive Officer: FNB Commercial Sepo Haihambo, said: “we understand that we have a responsibility to deliver both financial value and positive social outcomes for multiple stakeholders. These principles underpin the bank’s view that we must intentionally use core business activities, including our role in allocating capital to small business owners (particularly women), to add value to society. This partnership agreement is now in place to help fellow Namibians in MSMEs countrywide, to look to the future with enthusiasm and support.”