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United Capital, others pool N15bn to boost African SMEs

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As part of efforts to deepen aggregate growth in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), three leading development finance groups including United Capital Plc, a leading African investment banking group, Societie generale and Orange has partnered with global financial and corporate institutions to set up a Franco-African Investment Fund (FFA).

The groups have already pooled an investible funds to the tune of 77 million euro, about N15bn.

In a statement, the group said the aim of the fund is to accelerate the growth of innovative and entrepreneurial African and French small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with development projects on both continents.

Coming as a cross border investment fund dedicated to the development of African and French SMEs, the scheme will have a lifespan of 10 years.

Other attractions coming with the facility to Africa include the positive impact of the Fund’s investments in terms of governance, transparency, job creation, and respect for social and environmental values.

The agreement to set up the fund was signed in Bamako, Mali, at the sideline of the Franco African Summit, which was witnessed by the Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, French President Francois Hollande and a host of other global leaders in the private and public sectors.

The Deputy Group CEO of United Capital, Bunmi Akinremi, signed on behalf of the investment firm, a limited partner on the French Africa Fund.Other investors in the  Investment Fund include: Societe Generale Orange, BpiFrance, Africinvet, Caisse Nationale de Prevoyance Sociale of CDI, Proparco (AFD), SAHAM from Morocco, Financecom, the pension fund of the Central Bank of Kenya, and other private investors in Kenya.   The fund is sponsored by BpiFrance and Africinvet.


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