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FCFA 200 billion guarantee for businesses in 2023: Institutional and operational arrangements explained to business leaders in Douala

On 13 September, the Minister of Finance (Minfi), Louis Paul Motaze, dispatched the Secretary General of his ministerial department, Gilbert Didier Edoa, to the economic capital to explain to economic players the outlines of the agreement recently signed between the State of Cameroon and credit institutions.

(EcoFinances) – Following the signing on 16 August 2023 in Yaoundé of the agreement establishing a state guarantee for local businesses to the tune of CFAF 200 billion, the Minister of Finance (Minfi), Louis Paul Motaze, sent the Secretary General of his department to the economic capital on 13 September, Gilbert Didier Edoa, the Secretary General of his ministerial department, to the economic capital to explain to economic players the details of the agreement recently signed between the State of Cameroon and credit institutions.

The premises of the Groupement inter-patronal du Cameroun (Gicam), located in the Bonanjo administrative district of Douala (rue des ministres), provided the setting for discussions between wealth creators and the representative of the Minister of Finance. Gilbert Didier Edoa reminded those present that the current guarantee system has taken into account the imperfections that led to the failure of the first attempt to implement the state guarantee in 2021. « Its operationalisation is therefore marked by the signing of a framework agreement with the two associations representing the financial sector (Apeccam and Anemcam) as well as the agreement with various banking and microfinance institutions », he emphasised, stressing on the distribution of the envelope made available to public and private companies this year.

CFAF 170 billion to benefit private companies

According to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance, 70% of this package (CFAF 200 billion), i.e. CFAF 140 billion, will be allocated to guaranteeing loans granted to private sector companies (which must be incorporated under Cameroonian law with a majority of their capital held by Cameroonians). Of this amount, 30% (i.e. 60 billion) will be reserved for public companies and institutions.

Are the guarantees granted to large companies and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) the same? Minfi’s General Secretary answers this question in the negative. « The guarantee granted to large companies is 30%, while that granted to SMEs is 70% », he said, pointing out that a number of facilities have been granted to companies located in economically depressed areas. These companies will be able to benefit from a coverage rate of up to 60% for large companies and 80% for SMEs.

Conditions of eligibility

How can I benefit from this State guarantee this year? This is the question that the business leaders put to the representative of the Minister of Finance on 13 September. According to him, the eligibility conditions place the emphasis on national preference, with the scheme reserved exclusively for projects with majority national capital, as well as on the financial stability of the beneficiary companies.

Guarantee application procedure

With regard to the guarantee application procedure, Gilbert Didier Edoa stressed that the Government had left it up to the credit institutions to receive and analyse the credit applications, following the usual processes for analysing credit applications. « It is therefore only after the credit institutions have validated the applications that they will be forwarded successively to the Technical Committee of the Ministry of Finance, the National Public Debt Committee, and finally to the Minister of Finance for the granting of the guarantee certificate, which materialises the State’s guarantee commitment », he explained. He also took the opportunity to call for the involvement of banks and microfinance institutions to ensure that this scheme « has a multiplier effect on the amount of credit granted to businesses » this year.

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