Private Sector Financing: Stakeholders Brainstorm On More Flexible Mechanism

The first ever IFC-Private Sector Day that focused on boosting the latter’s development in Cameroon

The private sector is the pillar of Cameroon’s economy comprising 98 per cent of SMEs that contributes 38 per cent to Cameroon’s Gross Domestic Product and takes credit for creating 75 per cent decent jobs. With the impressive statistics from the Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, it is only right that the sector be given the opportunity to further boost the development of the country. In order to contribute to the development of enterprises in the private sector, one of Cameroon’s development partners; the International Finance Corporation IFC, organised IFC-Private Sector Day in Douala aimed at devising strategies to boost private sector development in Cameroon. Since one of the most challenges faced by SMEs is insufficient finance, It has come to IFC’s notice that their finance mechanism is complicated, thus, the reason why only few benefit. In order to devise new financing mechanism that will be adapted to the Cameroonian context, stakeholders including the Cameroon government, the IFC and actors in the private sector had to brainstorm in Douala. During the maiden IFC- private sector meeting, Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for Africa made known that the meeting focuses on how they can better help the private sector for the growth of economic activities in Cameroon. IFC’s objective is to favour the constructive discussions with the government and enterprises to finalise vision on the development of the country and provide concret solutions to problems faced by SMEs. “We want to bring new opportunities and new offers. firstly, we have increased our presence in Douala with more experts so that they can be closer to our potential clients. We also want to inject more funds into the less traditional businesses with special focus on SMEs. It is more challenging to finance them and we need to use new approaches using new technologies in order to have a better access to these types of companies which are vital to the development of the economy of this country,” he said. As of January 2024, IFC has a committed portfolio of US$ 242 million (over FCFA 143 billion) that is supporting digital and other infrastructure and ...

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