>@Richard Willis/EIB
©Richard Willis/EIB
  • EIB launches new technical best-practice initiative to strengthen the impact of future digital investment
  • New €50 million credit line with BDEAC to benefit private sector in Congo and the CEMAC region.
  • Partnership with Société Générale Congo for a €15 million (almost 10 billion CFA franc) credit line to support SME development.

A new engagement by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to accelerate digital investment and improve access to finance by entrepreneurs and business across Congo was highlighted today by Prime Minister Clément Mouamba.

The expected contribution of three new agreements between the EIB, Republic of Congo, Banque de Développement des États de l’Afrique Centrale (BDEAC) and Société Générale to creating jobs, strengthening economic growth, unlocking private sector expansion and ensuring that companies can overcome challenges faced by COVID-19 was outlined at a high-level formal announcement at the Primature in Brazzaville.

The importance of using international digital, technical and financial best practice to deliver sustainable development and expand opportunities for entrepreneurs and business in Congo were detailed by ministers, ambassadors and banking leaders.

Unlocking the benefits of digital services and increasing access to finance by entrepreneurs, business and agriculture are essential to creating economic opportunities, delivering sustainable development and ensuring that the Republic of Congo can withstand challenges caused by COVID-19. The new agreements with the EIB agreed today, including unlocking €65 million of new private sector financing, will contribute to strengthening economic activity, addressing social challenges and improving public services across our country. I welcome the firm commitment of the EIB to Africa and the Republic of Congo. The new agreements confirmed today will allow Congolese citizens and thousands of companies to benefit from the EIB’s unique technical and financial expertise.” said Clément Mouamba, Prime Minister and Head of Government of the Republic of Congo.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said: “As the EU bank and member of Team Europe, the EIB is happy to support three new initiatives to boost economic development in the country and the region, together with our Congolese, regional and international partners. Future investment in digital infrastructure will bring economic and social benefits. In addition, the private sector in the Republic of Congo will be able to access new funding and weather the disruption and difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The partnership between the Republic of Congo and the European Union will be further strengthened by the new support for private sector investment,” said Ambassador Raul Mateus Paula, Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Congo. “It constitutes a response to COVID-19 and visionary cooperation to harness digital transformation. The three agreements confirmed today will accelerate new private sector investment across the country and strengthen sustainable development across the Republic of the Congo in the months and years ahead.

The launch of the first ever joint EIB-Republic of Congo digital investment technical assistance programme and formal agreement of €65 million of new private sector financing was attended by leading government ministers, banking leaders and diplomats.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, Fortunato-Ofa Mbo Nchama, President of the Banque de Développement des États de l’Afrique Centrale and Alain Calmels, CEO of Société Générale Congo represented the three financial partners at the event.

Raul Mateus Paula, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Congo, Ambassadors of Member States of the European Union accredited in Congo and Nikolaos Milianitis, Head of the EIB Regional Representation in Central Africa, as well as François Barateau, Ambassador of France to Congo, Stefano De Leo, Ambassador of Italy to Congo, and Jean-Paul Charlier, Chargé d’affaires en pied for Belgium, were also present at the announcement of the agreement at the Primature in Brazzaville.

Unlocking public and private digital transformation

The EIB’s first digital investment best practice initiative in the Congo agreed today will strengthen the impact of future investment in digital services and infrastructure and ensure that both private sector and public partners benefit.

The €400 000 technical assistance project will allow in-depth feasibility studies to identify how best to reinforce national and international digital connections and use best practice from across Africa and around the world to ensure effective investment in information technology to improve public services.

The studies are expected to be completed in the coming months and enable specific investment programmes to be defined, which have the potential to be financed by the EIB and other development partners.

€50 million private sector financing scheme launched by BDEAC

As part of the implementation of its 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, BDEAC has secured a €50 million EIB credit line for private sector financing in the CEMAC region.

Strengthening access to finance by companies and entrepreneurs is crucial to enabling activities to expand, jobs to be created and investment to address the challenges of COVID-19 to be made. With the new €50 million in EIB support, BDEAC will be able to increase its targeted financing in Central Africa. The private sector must play a major role in any economic development process, as it is a driver of economic growth and job creation. In this respect, SMEs and mid-caps have an important place and responsibility in creating decent work and shared wealth, namely the impact of private investment on the creation of added value and the redistribution of the benefits of growth. All of these factors contribute to improving people’s living conditions. Against this background, the EIB resources will serve to build a successful private sector in Central Africa. Lastly, this €50 million credit line provided by BDEAC and the EIB will help address the main concern of private investors in our economic region – the scarcity of appropriate financing,” said Fortunato-Ofa Mbo Nchama, President of the Banque de Développement des États de l’Afrique Centrale.

EIB partners with Société Générale Congo to offer SME credit line of 10 billion CFA francs

Société Générale and the EIB today announced the implementation of a partnership for the development of Congo's economy. This financing will back the private sector as part of the EIB’s broader support for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and across the world aimed at strengthening their resilience to economic, social and health challenges, in particular the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the first financing of its kind in the Republic of Congo.

Since the 2017 launch of its Grow with Africa strategic plan, Société Générale has redoubled its efforts to support the sustainable and robust development of SMEs in Africa. A privileged partner of the local entrepreneurial fabric, Société Générale Congo gives substance on a daily basis to this goal of financing the economy. This new financing of almost 10 billion CFA francs will make it possible to expand Société Générale Congo's capacity to fund SMEs in the Republic of Congo and thus meet their working capital or investment project financing needs.