(Business in Cameroon) - Afriland First Bank Cameroon is signing today November 17 in Yaoundé a partnership with the Enterprise Upgrading Office (BMN) under the National Program for Upgrading Cameroonian Enterprises (PNMAN). The banking group is thus joining the group of fund providers for this Program, which aims to provide beneficiaries with various tools to strengthen their attractiveness and improve their financial management.
“Signing this agreement with the leading banking group in Cameroon is another step forward in the search for sustainable solutions for financing the plan to reinforce the capacities of companies enrolled in the Pnman. Through this public-private partnership, BMN and Afriland First Bank are committed to contributing further to the success of the National Development Strategy (SND 30), one of the major axis of which is the structural transformation of the Cameroonian economy," BMN said.
The other financial partners of the BMN program include Crédit du Sahel, African Leasing Company (absorbed by its parent company Afriland First Bank), Cameroonian Bank for SMEs (BC PME), Investisseurs et Partenaires (I&P), Pro PME, the African Guarantee and Economic Cooperation Fund (Fagace), and the Professional Association of Credit Institutions of Cameroon (Apeccam). They are committed to supporting the Pnman with low-interest financing at suitable maturities.
A CFA65bn plan
Another good aspect of this BMN-Afriland First Bank deal is that it comes as a relief for BMN, which was already lacking financing. Indeed, the financial resources acquired from the “French Development Agency (AFD), following the 3rd C2D (Debt Reduction-Development Contract, ed), were used up since December 2021 and the Enterprise Upgrading Office did not get a deal renewal. To face the issue, the BMN top management is mulling over a self-financing plan,” we learned from a member of the BMN Steering Committee.
This self-financing, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) said, requires the evolution of the BMN into a viable and autonomous agency. During a presentation on July 21, 2022, in Yaoundé, the UN agency said such a transformation will enable the BMN to “benefit from the advantages of the legal model of public institutions and public enterprises, legal independence, financial autonomy, diversification of services for the benefit of businesses and better responsiveness”.
Pending the decision of Cameroonian authorities, the Enterprise Upgrading Office set up a strategic plan for the 2020-24 period (CFA65 billion), in line with the 2020-30 National Development Strategy (SND30). The latter focuses on transforming the national economy through the development of a robust manufacturing industry.
Brice R. Mbodiam