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SMEs get 5 billion FCFA credit

The Cameroonian government has released 5 billion francs CFA to finance small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) pending the launch of a specialized bank promised by the head of state two years ago.

According to the Cameroonian minister of finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, who made the announcement on Thursday, the money constituted a guarantee mechanism aimed at promoting the financing of SME investments, within the framework of the partnership between the State, credit and micro-finance institutions and SMEs.

In a bid to block the access of ghost promoters to the funding, the ministry promises a rigorous credit grant process.

Applicants are expected to channel their applications through their banks or micro-finance institutions. The priority areas are handicraft, agriculture, trade, mining, cattle breeding and forests.

President Paul Biya in his inaugural speech of the Agro-pastoral Committee of Ebolowa, southern Cameroon, on 17 January 2011, announced the creation of the Bank of SMEs and the agricultural development bank. None has been created so far.

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