So French President Emmanuel Macron was on tour to Africa where he visited Kenya. During his meetings with host country government officials, Macron announced France resolve to support entrepreneurship and innovation space across Africa. A new initiative France has christened ‘Choose Africa.’
The initiative will be coordinated by the AFD Group and its subsidiary Proparco, who will see the channeling of 2.5 billion euros from France to Africa to support innovative startups, SMEs, and VSEs.
The Choose Africa initiative is targetting to support about 10,000 companies by the year 2022. The fund specifically targets SMEs because, in industrialized economies across Europe and North America, this sector has proven to be the backbone in developing a nation.
Africa as a continent is staring down at seeing at least 450 million youth enter the job market by the year 2050. Government sector on its own cannot possibly provide employment for such a huge group of job seekers. However, if SMEs were to be nurtured and empowered, they could effectively absorb this number and take advantage of the skills and energy of the youth.
1 billion euros of the fund will go towards equity investment in promising startups, small businesses and SMEs across Africa. The remaining 1.5 euros will be used to facilitate access to credit for the SMEs through both the public and private money lending institutions.