Sunday, May 3, 2009

France launches investment and support fund for businesses in Africa

France will launch the Investment and Support Fund for Businesses in Africa (FISEA) with an initial capital of 250 million euros, official sources told PANA here on Wednesday.

According to the sources, FISEA is expected to create, in the next five years, more than 100,000 jobs in Africa.

The Fund has been created as part of the framework of the initiative to promote growth in Africa which President Nicolas Sarkozy announced in Cape Town, South Africa, in February 2008.

The fund aims at boosting the growth of African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by providing them with long-term financial resources and supporting their management while giving priority to initiatives with a strong impact on the creation of jobs and development, particularly in the agricultural, health and education sectors.

With an annual investment of 50 million euros, in the next five years, FISEA is expected to finance 20 or so different funds, themselves shareholders of around 800 SMEs.

It will be a catalyst for a 1 billion euro risk capital on the continent which will help create and maintain over 100,000 jobs, the French foreign minister said.

It is for more risky ventures than those the banks spontaneously agree to finance.

It also covers regions which are unstable or in a post-conflict situation.

To be selected, projects will have to be financially viable and have a genuine impact on the local economic fabric.