The West Africa SMEs program was initiated by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) to bridge the substantial trade finance gap at the SME level within the region by providing financing lines, capacity building and advisory services to partner banks and SMEs in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) nations.
The first pilot program was launched in October 2108 in Burkina Faso, which resulted in a 23% increase in grant application approvals with CBI in Burkina Faso with and over US $ 1Million in financing granted to local program SMEs. A second pilot was launched in Senegal in 2019 in partnership with Coris Bank International (CBI) Senegal, the Delegation for Rapid Entrepreneurship (DER) and the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF). Up to 200 multi-sector Senegalese SMEs were chosen to participate in a 15-month pilot program.
Djembe supported the launch of both editions to build stakeholder awareness on a regional and international scale.