AUDA-NEPAD, Ecobank Group Commit Funds For Africa’s Micro SMEs
By: Kezirone Wokubira
The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD ) and Ecobank Group have committed resources to Africa’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). During a recent second virtual workshop facilitated by McKinsey, provided an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of sustaining market access and strengthening capabilities for MSMEs. During this session, high level representatives from the African Union Commission, regional development banks, development financial institutions, international organizations and commercial banks from the continent, agreed to put in place the AUDA-NEPAD “100,000 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises by 2021” Programme.
Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki AUDA-NEPAD Chief Executive Officer, commended the contribution of all the Financial Institutions, Development Partners and other stakeholders who participated in designing the “100,000 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises by 2021” Programme. He emphasized the need for all actors to work together and support the private sector in Africa, in order to protect employment and to create the 440 million jobs the continent will need by 2030.
Ecobank Group CEO Ade Ayeyemi, reiterated Ecobank’s commitment to the initiative and specifically confirmed its support in building the digital platform, developing content for the MSME Academy and participating in lending to African Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.
Micro Small and Medium Enterprises require our collective resources to secure and create new jobs on the African continent. As such, the AUDA-NEPAD Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Programme will have five pillars: AUDA MSME Academy, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Financing Support Programme, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Marketplace, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Micro-health insurance Scheme and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises digital platform. These five pillars are designed to ensure that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises across the continent are supported to become more resilient, improve their market access and take advantage of technology to tap into the African market of 1.3 billion consumers and leverage the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Governments have committed to support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises at the national level. The AUDA-NEPAD programme will pool African resources, capabilities, financing, market access and technology, to help achieve a continental response to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.