In Mauritania, Proparco, a Development Financial Institution partly owned by the French Development Agency, has signed an agreement with Attijari Bank Mauritania, the local subsidiary of the Moroccan financial group Attijariwafa Bank, to guarantee up to €5.5 million ($6.1 million) loans to approximately 140 Mauritanian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
According to the MoU signed last week, Proparco is committed to guaranteeing a first loan portfolio of €3 million, which will be granted by Attijari Bank Mauritania to local SMEs. A second operation will cover the guarantee of a €2.5 million loan portfolio dedicated to companies in sectors with high social impact, such as agriculture, fishing, education and health.
This operation, according to Proparco, is part of the Choose Africa Initiative launched in March 2019 and implemented by the French development agency.
Choose Africa is a French initiative seeking to accelerate the growth of SMEs and entrepreneurship in Africa. AFD and Proparco will engage €2.5 billion by 2022 to support 10,000 companies.
The structure of the Mauritanian economy is characterized by the predominance of the secondary and tertiary sectors and access to finance remains one of the main obstacles hindering trade in the West African nation.
Since 2015, Mauritania has been engaged in a vast economic reform program. Authorities have put a great deal of effort into improving the business climate to promote private investment.