• First targeted cooperation with government to accelerate digitalisation and rural connectivity
  • Private sector financing of XAF 6.5 billion agreed with Société Générale Chad
  • EIB supports Chad’s membership of the African Trade Insurance Agency, which will improve trade and investment in the country

The European Investment Bank (EIB) today approved three new initiatives to strengthen economic and social development across Chad. They consist of the EIB’s first targeted support for digitalisation and rural connectivity in the country, the Bank’s first private sector financing programme to accelerate business investment and help companies in Chad operating in the sectors worst hit by COVID-19, and backing for Chad’s membership of the Agency for Trade Insurance in Africa to facilitate trade and investment there.

The digital transformation and business investment initiatives backed by the EIB, the European Union’s long-term financing institution and world’s largest international public bank, were formally approved in N’Djamena.

The launch event was attended by Dr Issa Doubragne, Chad’s Minister of the Economy, Development Planning and International Cooperation, Magloire N’Guessan, Chief Executive of Société Générale Chad, Nikolaos Milianitis, Head of the EIB Representation in Central Africa, Zissimos Vergos, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim and Silvia Severi, Head of Cooperation for the European Union Delegation to Chad.

Manuel Moses, Chief Executive of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), together with the management team, participated by video conference from Nairobi, Kenya.

“The agreements signed today will ensure that businesses, farmers and families across Chad will benefit from improved connectivity and commercial investment in the coming years. The Republic of Chad welcomes the strong support demonstrated by the European Investment Bank and Team Europe’s commitment in strengthening private sector investment, trade and digital infrastructure. This new investment will strengthen Chad’s capacity to weather the economic and social impact of COVID-19 and smooth the path to sustainable development in the coming years,” said Issa Doubragne, Minister of the Economy, Development Planning and International Cooperation.

“The European Investment Bank has been Chad’s partner for 53 years and today marks a new chapter in their long-standing cooperation. As part of Team Europe’s global response, the EIB is stepping up its support for accelerating private sector investment in Chad and all of Africa so that African businesses are in a stronger position to tackle the challenges of COVID-19.

The EIB has approved our first direct support for business investment in Chad in partnership with Société Générale and our first targeted cooperation to enable Chad to enjoy increased digitalisation in the years ahead. We are also pleased to help Chad join the Agency for Trade Insurance in Africa, which will facilitate and unlock investment in the coming years. The European Investment Bank is a partner for Chad, the Sahel and Africa,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle.

“The European Union and its Member States, our “Team Europe,” continue to support Chad in its efforts to combat the public health, social and economic impact of COVID-19 and move towards building a more resilient and inclusive economy. We all agree that the impact and success of these funding initiatives also rely on an ongoing and well-structured public-private sector dialogue on climate investment, a business-friendly environment and the promotion of youth and women’s entrepreneurship. What is not always clear is that these funding initiatives go in tandem with the mobilisation of world-class expertise in digital, financial, commercial and environmental services which directly benefit the country’s private sector. The work carried out by the European Investment Bank’s team and the long-range investment plan that is underpinned by the current initiatives are a powerful demonstration of “Team Europe’s” long-term commitment in Central Africa and the Sahel,” said Zissimos Vergos, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the European Union Delegation to Chad.

Helping connect Chad to the rest of the world

The EIB’s maiden support for digitalisation in the Sahel comprises three feasibility studies that will outline how to provide high-speed broadband, improved telecommunications and better connectivity for remote rural communities, helping the government achieve its goal of doubling economic support for information and communication technologies (ICT) in the years ahead.

“A high-impact investment in digitalisation is key to boosting future economic growth and social progress in landlocked Chad. The new cooperation with the European Investment Bank will enable Chad to benefit from technical expertise and best practices in the digital sector. My colleagues and I look forward to working with the EIB in the months and years ahead,” said Post and Digital Economy Minister Dr Idriss Bachar Saleh.

XAF 6.5 billion investment programme launched with Société Générale

This new financing package is part of the EIB’s global support for private sector development and targeted assistance for African companies facing economic, social and public health challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic. The new scheme is available immediately and will be managed by Société Générale in Chad. The XAF 6.5 billion package will include working capital and help boost support for investment projects. The disbursement conditions will also be more flexible to reflect the acute and sudden challenges facing African companies.

“Since the launch of the “Grow with Africa” strategic plan in 2017, Société Générale has stepped up its initiatives for consolidating the sustainable and robust growth of African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As a leading partner of local companies, Société Générale contributes to the financing of the economy every day. This new partnership with the EIB will strengthen our financing for SMEs and support economic growth in Chad,” said Magloire N’Guessan, Chief Executive of Société Générale Chad.

Enabling Chad to join the African Trade Insurance Agency

As African countries begin to build buffers against the likely negative economic fallout from COVID-19, investment insurance capacity is seen as a critical part of the financial support that will be needed to afford many of the economies in Africa with greater protection. The lack of investment insurance in most African markets hampers vital investment, both in equity and in debt, and limits the scope for optimum cross-border trade. In recent months, the heightened economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the shortage of trade insurance in Africa.

The EIB is providing €15 million to enable Chad to join the African Trade Insurance Agency. Becoming a full member country will make it easier for investors to create jobs at a lower cost, expand their commercial activity and provide clean energy.

“This initiative is a perfect example of the integrated strategy that the European Investment Bank (EIB) continues to adopt in supporting Africa’s development. As a partner of the continent, we are proud of the ongoing cooperation with the EIB, which launched a concessional loan package in November 2019 to finance the equity membership of ATI for Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Senegal and Togo. This facility ensures that more countries across Africa have access to the insurance capacity needed to support investment and intra-African trade and also to mitigate the risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Manuel Moses, Chief Executive of the African Trade Insurance Agency

The lack of investment insurance in most African markets hampers vital investment, both in equity and in debt, and restricts cross-border trade. In recent months, the heightened economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the shortage of trade insurance in Africa.

ATI’s presence is therefore now, more than ever, a key component of many countries’ ability to remain attractive candidates for investment.

Background information

About Société Générale

Société Générale is one of the largest financial services groups in Europe. Building on a diversified and integrated model, the Group combines financial strength, innovation dynamics and a sustainable and responsible growth strategy. Committed to the positive transformation of companies and economies, Société Générale acts each day with its teams to build – in cooperation with its customers – a better and sustainable future by providing responsible and innovative financial solutions.

Playing a vital role in the real economy for over 150 years, well established in Europe and connected to the rest of the world, Société Générale has more than 138 000 employees in 62 countries and serves 29 million retail customers, businesses and institutional investors around the world on a daily basis, offering a wide range of advisory services and bespoke financial solutions in three complementary core businesses:

  • retail banking in France with the Société Générale, Crédit du Nord and Boursorama branch network, offering a comprehensive range of omnichannel financial services at the leading edge of digital innovation;
  • international retail banking, insurance and corporate financial services, with local networks in Africa, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and market-leading specialised businesses;
  • corporate and investment banking, with recognised expertise, top international rankings and integrated solutions.

Société Générale is included in the main socially responsible investment indices: DJSI (World and Europe), FTSE4Good (Global and Europe), Euronext Vigeo (World, Europe and Eurozone), four of the STOXX ESG Leaders indices, and the MSCI Low Carbon Leaders Index.

About Société Générale Chad

Société Générale Chad is the largest banking network in Chad and has been providing daily support since 1999 to its customers in carrying out their projects and local and international day-to-day operations. A recognised leader in relationship banking, Société Générale Chad can count on the multisectoral expertise of its 215 employees and a constantly evolving range of products to serve its 37 000 active customers in a responsible and dynamic way. Its financial strength, market knowledge and quality of service earned it the “Best Commercial Bank” award at the Global Banking & Finance Awards in 2018 and 2019.

With a positive Net Promoter Score in 2020, Société Générale Chad confirms its strategic interest in continuously improving customer satisfaction. Société Générale Chad is a pioneering, civic-minded company committed to the positive transformation of Chad’s economy in terms of supporting young businesses and the development of youth and female entrepreneurship.

About the ATI

The ATI was founded in 2001 by African states to cover the trade and investment risks of companies doing business in Africa. The ATI mainly provides political risk, credit and surety insurance. At the end of 2019, the ATI’s exposure totalled $6.4 billion and the group continued to post record results for the eighth consecutive year with year-on-year growth of 132% in net profit owing to strong demand for its insurance solutions from the international financial sector and from African governments. Since its inception, the ATI has supported $62 billion in investment and trade in Africa. For more than a decade, the ATI has maintained an “A/Stable” rating for financial strength and counterparty credit with Standard & Poor’s, and in 2019, it received an A3/Stable rating from Moody’s.