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EIB MICROFINANCE ACADEMY: hundreds of professional participants

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Abidjan hosts the first exchange on best banking practices organized by the EIB (www.EIB.org) in West and Central Africa; The governors of the central banks of West and Central Africa will refer in particular to the challenges in the area of ​​finance; The 2021 Microfinance and SME Banking Academy follows the training of more than 40,000 finance professionals organized by the EIB in Africa over the past 7 years; Experts in the field will share their experiences and solutions for strengthening agriculture finance and gender-responsive finance, digital transition and understanding climate risks.

Finance and banking leaders and experts from across West and Central Africa will participate in the 2021 Microfinance and SME Banking Academy, which the European Investment Bank is organizing for the first time. times in the area. More than 1000 participants from the banking, microfinance and development finance sectors, from 67 countries, will share their technical and practical experience in order to improve the access of smallholders, entrepreneurs and enterprises to finance, in the part of this fully bilingual virtual event.

“The European Investment Bank knows how important it is to ensure that private sector financing enables sustainable economic and social development. This first Microfinance and SME Banking Academy organized by the EIB in West and Central Africa brings together partners who share the same long-term objective of building resilience and providing economic and social opportunities. to local people, smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs across Africa. Building on a previous sharing of best practices that has strengthened the specialist skills of over 40,000 African finance professionals to the benefit of countless entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers, this academy will be a success, I am sure. convinced,” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank.

Inaugurated by Jobst von Kirchmann, Ambassador of the European Union in Côte d’Ivoire and hosted by the regional representation of the European Investment Bank in West Africa, based in Abidjan, this academy of microfinance and banking services will be an opportunity for Africa and its international financial partners to share their experience in supporting economic resilience, in order to meet the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerate the digital transition and operations of green finance and improve the access of women, isolated populations and vulnerable groups to finance.

For two days, experts from leading financial institutions and the EIB, as well as partners from Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) will share actionable insights and technical best practices to further strengthen access to finance and facilitate investments in targeted sectors, particularly in climate change mitigation and adaptation to their effects, social, gender equality and the promotion of innovation and digital technologies.

Central Bank Governors from across West and Central Africa will also participate and discuss current challenges and trends in financial services.

Expand the fruitful exchange of banking best practices to West and Central Africa

The 2021 Microfinance and SME Banking Academy is organized for the first time in West and Central Africa by the European Investment Bank. It follows on from previous academies held in East and Southern Africa since 2016 and dedicated best practice training for over 40,000 financial services professionals from across the continent.

Banking professionals, private sector SMEs and microfinance clients across Africa are already benefiting from dedicated operations management, banking risk management and specialized training provided by the European Bank investment, thanks to its technical assistance programs implemented throughout Africa.

Over the past decade, the EIB has provided specific training to finance professionals from 288 banks and microfinance partners, building professional skills to better serve entrepreneurs, smallholders and refugees across the country. continent.

Driving radical transformation through better access to finance

The 2021 Microfinance and SME Banking Academy will provide an opportunity for international and African banking and microfinance professionals from West and Central Africa to share their ideas and the latest banking best practices. Experience from previous academies in Nairobi and Pretoria has shown that more intense cooperation and sharing of ideas is key to broadening the access of targeted market segments to finance that overcomes key challenges and accelerate high-impact investments.

The participants will exchange their experiences and their know-how on the following issues: the financing of climate action, the intensification of the digital transition, the better consideration, by financing, of the needs of private entrepreneurs, smallholders and agricultural sector, and how to ensure that women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses can overcome banking barriers.

Speakers will also highlight how financial institutions are scaling up digital investments to improve financial service delivery, sustainability reporting, and environmental and social ratings.

58 years of EIB support for private sector growth and transformative investment in Africa

In recent years, the European Investment Bank has collaborated with financial partners in West and Central Africa, including Baobab, ECOBANK, Microcred, KAFO Jiginew, BDEAC, Société Générale, Commercial Bank of Cameroon and PRO SMEs to improve access to specialized and targeted financing.

The EIB supports the development of the financial sector by providing technical assistance to financial intermediaries and final beneficiaries in the private sector in order to strengthen their financial and management skills.

Recent programs have provided targeted support to African banking institutions. These include the recent partnership between the EIB and the International Monetary Fund to support financial sector development on the continent: the online training jointly organized by the EIB and the IMF on financial inclusion and financial sector development .

By offering specialized technical assistance and fostering closer cooperation with its partners across the continent, the European Investment Bank is helping to leave a lasting legacy of building local capacity and even building technical skills to ensure that better access to finance will overcome the daily challenges faced by small businesses in Africa.

The European Investment Bank, whose direct shareholders are the 27 EU Member States, is the largest international public bank in the world.

The EIB has been operating across Africa since 1965 and last year made EUR 5bn available for private and public investment across the continent.

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