Douala, Cameroon, April 1, 2015 —
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to provide
a FCFA 2.5 billion risk sharing facility to Banque Internationale du Cameroun
pour l’Épargne et le Crédit (BICEC), part of the French group BPCE,
to support its lending activities to agricultural cooperatives active in
the productions of cassava, maize and sorghum.
Currently 80% of cassava, maize and sorghum, bought by Cameroon agribusiness
companies is imported, even though 75% of Cameroon farms grow these crops.
The project will share the risk of lending to local cooperative producers
selected under the World Bank’s Agriculture Investment and Market Development
(“PIDMA”) Project, which works to support the transformation of low productivity,
subsistence-oriented cassava, maize and sorghum producers into commercially-oriented
and competitive value chains.
Saran Kebet-Koulibaly, IFC Regional for West and Central Africa, said,
““BICEC is an important partner for IFC to reach and support producers
of basic foods in Cameroon. On average, only 3-5% of bank lending in Africa
goes to agriculture though 60% of Africans derive their livelihood from
it. IFC aims to help build a more productive and efficient agricultural
sector in the region through better access to finance, markets, and inputs
and supporting competitive supply chains. These contribute to our goal
of boosting shared prosperity."
BICEC’s Managing Director, said, “IFC’s financing fits well with BICEC’s
strategy to take more risk and increase our investments in agriculture
in Cameroon under comprehensive programs such as PIDMA which promote
an innovative approach to support a sector that is critical to the country’s
development. It will allow BICEC to successfully expand its agriculture
BICEC has been increasingly active in the agricultural sector over the
last decade. In 2014, BICEC’s agricultural department originated loans
to various parties in the aggregate amount of FCFA 18 billion allowing
BICEC to reach directly and indirectly more than 200,000 smallholder farmers.
A joint IFC and IDA team will help ensure that the PIDMA project provides
producing organizations with the necessary capacity building to improve
their operations, addresses producers constraints related to their operating
environment, including poor infrastructure and logistics, and more generally
reduces operating constraints to improve productivity. The investment component
of IFC’s intervention is supported by the Global Agricultural Food Security
Program (“GAFSP”). IFC will also provide advisory services to BICEC to
help it become more familiar with the financing of agricultural projects.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Groupe BPCE, the second largest banking group in France, includes two independent
and complementary commercial banking networks: the network of 18 Banque
Populaire banks and 17 of Caisse d'Epargne. With Natixis it is a major
player in the client banking, asset management and financial services.
Groupe BPCE serves more than 36 million customers and enjoys a strong presence
in France with 8,000 branches, 108,000 employees and more than 8.8 million
members. For more information, please visit www.bpce.fr
BICEC, part of the BPCE Group, operates one of the top banking networks
in Cameroon, with 36 branches and 320,000 clients in all the provinces
of the country. The bank has a presence in all client segments: individuals,
professionals and businesses. For more information, please visit www.bicec.com.