ImpactAlpha, July 2 – Food and agriculture products struggle to access trade financing even in normal times. Pandemic-related border closures and disruptions have hit these businesses hard. French bank Societe Generale and U.K. development finance institution CDC want to encourage local banks in Africa to increase lending to local businesses importing essential goods.
Societe Generale will increase lending to banks in West Africa, with a focus on Francophone countries. CDC will share the risk of default on the part of borrowers in proportion to its funding contribution to the facility, which has not been disclosed, a spokesperson for CDC told ImpactAlpha.
The initiative is the latest COVID relief fund to focus on helping emerging markets’ small businesses weather the pandemic. Three other funds are under development, in addition to billions of dollars pledged by development finance institutions and multilateral banks.