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Citi and Microcred Senegal sign a FCFA 1.45 billion financing agreement to support the growth of microenterprises in Senegal

Monday, April 13, 2015

(OPIC)  With this transaction, Microcred Senegal will be able to finance over two thousand micro-entrepreneurs across Senegal.

Dakar – Citi Senegal granted Microcred Senegal, a regulated deposit–taking microfinance institution in Senegal, a loan of FCFA 1,450,000,000 / US $2.5 million to drive and promote the development of the microfinance sector in Senegal. This loan will fund Microcred Senegal’s microcredit portfolio supporting the development of approximately two thousand micro and small enterprises in the country.

Supporting the financial inclusion of micro and small enterprises which typically have limited access to credit, savings or insurance products in Senegal, are important objectives of the “Plan Senegal Emergent” (PSE) developed by the Government for the structural transformation of the Senegalese economy”, stated Mr Amadou Ba, Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning. Whilst the microfinance sector in Senegal is growing, only a small percentage of the adult population has an account or uses a formal financial institution.

“Microcred Senegal, which was created in 2007, provides financial products and services to micro and small enterprises to support the growth and economic development of Senegalese entrepreneurs”, said Ruben Dieudonne, CEO of Microcred Senegal. Today Microcred Senegal reaches more than 135,000 clients (41% are women), across its 32 branches, providing FCFA 38.5 billion / US $ 66 million in microloans (average loan size of 1 million FCFA/ US $ 2,010 per micro enterprise) and mobilises FCFA 18.5 billion / US $ 32 million of savings with an average balance of FCFA 135,775 / US $261 per depositor. Microcred Senegal is one of the eight operating microfinance institutions developed by the French network Microcred Group across Africa and China.

This loan is part of a long term business partnership between Citi Inclusive Finance, Citi’s specialized unit for microfinance and inclusive finance transactions, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, to provide financing in local currencies to leading microfinance institutions operating in frontier and emerging markets around the world. OPIC’s mission is to mobilize private capital that achieves development through high social and environmental impact sectors. This strategic alliance that aligns OPIC and Citi has financed a total of 44 entities in 24 countries globally, reaching over a million micro-entrepreneurs.

“OPIC’s partnership with Citi in this endeavour shows our organizations’ mutual dedication to bold expansion into markets in need of better access to inclusive finance. Alongside this shared intent is also a record of results in these financing efforts. This new transaction is a milestone for OPIC for it brings Senegal into our active loan portfolio, and more importantly is a landmark of new growth potential for over a thousand Senegalese micro, small and medium enterprises as a result of OPIC support,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of OPIC.

Citi has been present in Senegal for 39 years and provides a wide range of banking services, including fund transfers, lending, foreign exchange, and trade and treasury solutions, to the government, public sector entities, multinationals and top tier local corporations, as well as non-governmental organizations.

Through its global network, Citi is well positioned to help its clients in Senegal tap international capital markets, which is of strategic importance to the government as it seeks financing for economic and infrastructure development. Citi also provides its client base with electronic banking solutions including the Citi Direct Online Banking platform for cash management and Citi FX Pulse for clients trading FX. From Senegal, Citi operates an important correspondent banking business that covers banking relationships across the West Africa Economic & Monetary Union (WAEMU) and beyond.

“For the first time in Senegal, we have entered into a commercial financing agreement to strengthen a microfinance institution in the country. Our goal is to help local financial institutions such as Microcred Senegal to support micro and small enterprises and contribute to the economic development of Senegal via each and every entrepreneur,” said Khady Ndiaye, Citi Country Officer for Senegal.

This year Citi will also be one of the sponsors of the African Microfinance Week taking place in Dakar from 29th June to 3rd July 2015. Organised by 4 of the largest African microfinance networks and supported by the Luxembourg NGO ADA, the Government of Senegal and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the second edition of the African Microfinance Week will convene microfinance institutions from all over Africa to support financial inclusion and the growth of the sector. The focus this year will be on solutions to accelerate innovative financing in rural Africa and include an Investors and Innovation Fair open to all African microfinance practitioners.