West Africa: FMO Invests €12.5m in COFINA

May 2020
West Africa, May, 18 2020 - The Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO, has announced the recent closing of multiple transactions to microfinance group Compagnie Financiere Africaine (COFINA).

FMO has issued €7.5m to Cofina’s subsidiary in Senegal and €5m to Cofina Côte d'Ivoire.

A majority of this funding will specifically support the lending to women and youth-owned businesses, in countries where nearly half the population still lives below the national poverty line.

Huib-Jan de Ruijter, Director Financial Institutions at FMO, said: “Especially in these difficult times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to support CFN, one of the few home grown African micro-finance groups.”

“First in Senegal and now also in Côte d'Ivoire. These transactions fit perfectly with FMO’s approach to build strong relationship with MFI groups in Francophone Africa. COFINA has shown a strong willingness to grow and understands how real impact can be made through financial inclusion. We look forward to our collaboration.”

These loans strengthen FMO’s presence among financial institutions in francophone Africa, increasing access to finance.

The funding will be provided by the Dutch government’s MASSIF fund, which aims to take early investment risks and act as a catalyst for the growth for the private financial sector, while meanwhile stimulating financial inclusion in developing countries.

COFINA is a home-grown African microfinance Group that operates in seven countries in Francophone Africa: Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea-Conakry, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon and Senegal.

MFIs are important drivers for increased access to finance.

Over the last years COFINA has experienced considerable growth thanks to its innovative business model of providing tailor-made financial products and services to the ‘missing middle’. Their products and services are customised for MSMEs whose needs are too large for smaller MFIs, and whose structure is too informal or risky for commercial banks.

Today, the COFINA Group serves around 175,000 clients and has 1,340 employees of which 45% are women.

Hervé-Serge Ndakpri, Group CFO at COFINA, said: “We are delighted with the signing of this partnership with FMO. This funding will allow us to strengthen our role as a mesofinance institution in Senegal and in Côte d’Ivoire at the service of financial inclusion. It is also a mark of trust from a leading international financial partner, which recognizes through this significant funding, the solidity of the COFINA Group and the impact that we have daily on entrepreneurs, very small businesses and SMEs. We are already working on the next stages of our collaboration. "


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