The Africa SME Programme was approved by the Board of Directors of the AfDB in July 2013. Since then, staff at AfDB has been working on a range of Programme aspects. This includes building a first pipeline of financial institutions that could qualify under the program, establishing internal processes and procedures for a fast-track process, procurement of a technical assistance partner for the programme, preparation of this website, and to process a first set of applications under the Programme.
As these activities have been implemented, and support for 9 financial institutions was approved, the team is now working to finalise agreements, commence technical assistance reviews and facilitate the disbursements of the lines of credits to the FIs. A second round pipeline is currently being built up for further internal review.
Ultimately, it is expected that around 25 financial institutions from around 20-25 countries will benefit from this program. This should then result in a significant improvement in access to finance for SMEs in the same number of countries. The results in terms of improved access to finance will be monitored and evaluated, and eventually published.