On Thursday, 05 May 2022, in partnership with the Regional Consular Chamber (RCC-WAEMU), the Benin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI-Benin) organised an experience-sharing meeting on innovative financing of enterprises in the WAEMU Area. This was an opportunity for each country of the Union to discover what is good for the private sector in other regions.
The issue of financing small and medium-sized enterprises/industries (SMEs/SMIs) remains, more than ever, a main concern for the WAEMU Consular Chambers. As an evidence, gathered in Cotonou on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at the initiative of the CCI Benin and the RCC-WAEMU, the WAEMU Consular Chambers tried to discover the mechanisms put in place at the level of each State to support the development and competitiveness of SMEs/SMIs as well as startups that are an opportunity for socio-economic growth. It should be noted that during these two meetings in 2021, the Technical Commission for Sectoral Policies (CTPS) of the Regional Consular Chamber (RCC-WAEMU) examined the issue, with recommendations to use the Deposit and Consignment Funds. The Cotonou meeting allowed participants from the eight (08) countries of the Union to learn about Benin’s policy in this area, in particular through the Catalytic Support and Solidarity Fund (FACS), an instrument set up with the assistance of the Caisse de Dépôts et de Consignations du Bénin (CDCB) in March 2022 to reduce the mortality rate of businesses. On the other hand, the other Chambers had the opportunity to share with their peers the arrangements designed for this purpose in their respective countries. Recognizing the importance of the initiative, the President of the CCI Benin, Arnauld Akakpo, in his address, indicated that the issue of SME/SMI financing should not be addressed in isolation by consular institutions, but integrated into a comprehensive support system linked to all non-financial services and financial support. “(…) Our consular institutions must use all existing funding levers at the national, regional, sub-regional and continental levels through strong partnerships to bring to fruition the mechanisms that contrast with conventional funding and promote innovative financial assets,” he said.
Adapted and Translated from French into English by:
CEO at LMS (www.lmsgroupafrica.com)
American Translators Association (ATA) Associate Member