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Friday, 14 May 2010

European Investment Bank to support unique microfinance fund for Africa

The European Investment Bank today confirmed its commitment to microfinance in Africa as a leading investor in REGMIFA, a unique EUR 116m (USD 150m) microfinance fund targeting small enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa. The European Union’s long-term lending institution will provide USD15m for the fund and will be largest holder of class A shares. REGMIFA was developed by leading donor finance institutions following a G8 initiative to improve access to finance in Africa. “The European Investment Bank is playing a leading role in supporting REGMIFA and its unique contribution to improving access to finance for entrepreneurs across Africa. Offering local currency loans, engaging a broad investor base and attracting private support will allow African companies to grow, create jobs and reduce poverty over the coming years.” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Sub-Saharan Africa. REGMIFA’s potential contribution to African economic growth has been strengthened by feasibility studies and in particular a study on foreign currency lending financed by the European Investment Bank. The Bank will provide a further USD 2m in technical assistance grant funding to support the initiative and has played a key role is selecting specialist fund managers. The European Investment Bank has supported and helped design the fund since 2007, through its active cooperation with other donor finance institutions.
Source: European Union