(Business in Cameroon) - The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) recently agreed to support Cameroonian SMEs heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This was revealed in a Tweet posted by Jean-Luc Stalon (UNDP resident representative in Cameroon) on his Twitter page on March 24, 2021.
"An 18.9 M USD [ed.note: XAF10.4 billion] project has been approved between the Government of Cameroon and BADEA to support SMEs as part of the Covid-19 Social & Economic Response Plan. The UNDP will support the implementation process through specialized stakeholders," the Tweet reads.
The funds will be provided in the framework of a joint program, initiated under the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program (AATB), carried out thanks to a partnership between the BADEA and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) to help African countries deal with Covid-19. The said partnership was strengthened in March 2020 (with the confirmation of the Covid-19 cases) with the release of $100 million by Badea to support 44 African countries in the fight against the pandemic. Thanks to the funds, the countries were able to boost their capacity to respond to the health crisis, we learn.
In Cameroon, local businesses, SMEs notably, have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. According to a survey published in July 2020 by the employers’ grouping GICAM (Groupement inter patronal du Cameroun), at end-June 2020, 96.6% of the businesses surveyed claimed that they were affected by the pandemic while at end-April 2020, it was 92.5%.
The survey also forecasted that 81.7% (100% in most-exposed segments and 83% for micro-companies) of businesses in the country would record turnover declines in the 2020 financial year.
Joseph Roland Djotié