Societe General on Friday, March 8, engaged with key stakeholders both from the private and public sectors in Ghana to discuss how the bank could support the country’s agenda for development.
This event was held at the Kempinski Hotel under the theme ‘Grow with Africa’.
The Grow with Africa initiative aims to contribute collectively to the sustainable development of Africa, in partnership with local territories and actors as well as international experts, by establishing dialogue, listening and sharing innovative means and approaches.
This initiative, which integrates the declination of the UN Sustainable Development Goals on the continent, also aims to promote local experimentation with a goal of duplicability in several countries, and to industrialize successful projects through an improvement approach. continuous and full transparency of results between programme partners.
Members of Societe Generale teams which are experts in Global Finance, Markets, Transactions & Payment Services, and Structured Finance interacted with some Government Ministries, Agencies, Regulators and Customers on the following key areas;
• Natural Resources
• Structured & Asset Financing
• Positive Impact Finance
• Trade Finance & Cash Management
• Capital Markets
The Seminar was followed by Workshops in which various experts from Societe Generale had more intimate discussions with selected stakeholders.
The main objectives of this programme are to foster development of the economies and populations through multi-dimensional support for SME’s, infrastructure financing, innovative financing solutions and financial inclusion.
One of the initiatives is the creation of SME centers across Africa to provide resources for business development. This will come in addition with the Bank’s decision to increase access to credit to support SMEs, which are the cornerstone of African economies.
Infrastructure financing is another key aspect of development in Africa, especially in energy, transport, water and waste management, and even the development of smart cities. Societe Generale plans to double its workforce dedicated to structured financing by the end of 2019 and increase its financial commitment related to structured finance in Africa by 20% over the next three years.
Under innovative Financing, and with a special emphasis on Agricultural Industries and energy partnerships, the Bank is planning to provide access to a range of banking and non-banking services (Healthcare, Education, Advisory & more) to one million farmers over the next five years. This target is being made possible by YUP, the bank’s online Mobile money platform that brings finance to the doorstep of everyone.
On promoting development through financial inclusion, this objective is born out of the strong conviction that there is a real need for alternative Banking Models to accelerate financial inclusion across Africa.
80% of the African population remains unbanked and microfinance remains
crucial to integrating this section of the population that have not accessed the traditional banking system. In this vein, new distribution models that use mobile devices is a more practical approach to serving this unbanked populations.
Under this strategy, the approach is twofold; first, working through partner Microfinance agencies to expand the scope and sustainability of client’s activities. Second. The Bank will continue to roll out YUP, which offers simple, accessible, bank-like products to a broad population, the majority of whom does not currently have access to banking services
Alexander Maymat said, ‘Societe Generale’s experience in Ghana is an exciting one; the country is developing fast and so are the needs of our clients. Clients are finding in Ghana their own way to consume banking products and services, and we believe that our unique positioning which combines knowledge of the local economies and the expertise of an international banking group are key to support the country’s development’.
Societe Generale’s desire to contribute to sustainable development in Africa is also driven by the initiatives of the Societe Generale Corporate Foundation for Solidarity.
The Foundation has already supported close to 100 projects promoting professional integration in 14 African countries, and the budget it dedicates to projects in Africa will be considerably increased over the coming years.