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ADF Approves $16m Grant To Support Financial Inclusion In Niger

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional lending arm for the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has approved $16 million in loan and grant financing to Niger to implement the Financial Sector Deepening and Inclusion Project.

Administered by the AfDB, the ADF comprises 32 contributing countries and 37 benefits countries. The 37 ADF-eligible countries include those that are increasing their economic capacities and heading towards becoming the new emerging markets – as well as those that remain fragile and need special assistance for basic levels of service delivery.

The ADF has the challenge of having nearly half its client countries as fragile states, and facing a situation where even stable economies can become fragile due to a single internal or external shock.

It contributes to poverty reduction and economic and social development in the least developed African countries by providing concessional funding for projects and programs, as well as technical assistance for studies and capacity-building activities.

The Fund has cumulatively invested UA 29.4 billion (USD 45 billion) over its 44 years of operationalization on the African continent. Its resources are replenished every three years by its donor countries. In the replenishment discussions, the donor countries are represented by their ADF Deputies

The project will strengthen mobilization of long-term resources for financial service providers and improve financial inclusion of vulnerable populations, particularly women, youth, rural dwellers and micro, small and medium enterprises.

Specifically, the project will contribute to the establishment of a financing mechanism that is conducive to the needs of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises through the capitalization of the Financial Inclusion Development Fund and the strengthening of the technical and operational capacities of financial service providers, particularly the decentralized financial systems.

This will enable them to develop financial products and services adapted to the needs of the population. All of this, with a view to increasing the resilience of the financial sector and reducing poverty in Niger.

While applauding the support, Niger’s Minister of Finance, Ahmat Jidoud said he welcomed “this support from the African Development Bank which will strengthen the technical and financial capacities of financial service providers in Niger, in particular decentralized financial systems, which will make it possible to broaden access to financial services to the greatest number of our citizens, especially those living in rural areas”.

Similarly, the Head of the African Development Bank’s Capital Markets Development Division Ahmed Attout said: “We are delighted with this collaboration between the Bank Group and Niger. By strengthening the capacity of the Financial Inclusion Development Fund and financial service providers, this project will help diversify the sources of financing for Nigerien small and medium-sized enterprises and increase financial inclusion in Niger”.


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