Societe Generale Partners EIB

SG Ghana management in a pose with officials from the EIB and EU 

A €20 million agreement has been signed between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Societe Generale (SG) Ghana to finance Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

At a press conference held yesterday, Managing Director of SG Ghana, Gilbert Hie said his outfit offers financing to SMEs with less than 250 employees to expand their operations.

According to Mr. Hie, SG lends money to enterprises with long-term financing plans under lower rates.

He also said that part of the money would finance the SG Ghana IT training system and expressed the hope that his outfit would sustain economic growth and competitiveness in the local market.

He thanked the EIB for their contribution.
Commenting on companies to benefit from the loans, he explained that because of the current restriction place on foreign exchange by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), loans are presently limited to companies operating in foreign currencies.

He said however that once the ban was lifted it would be open to more companies in Ghana.

A West African representative of EIB, Christophe Lucet noted that contrary to the general notion that people hold, the EIB is not owned by 28 member countries.

He indicated that €80 million has been budgeted for Ghana, out of which SG has received €20 million and explained that the EIB was in talks with other prospective banks in Ghana which would also be credited.

Mr. Lucet said that EIB has a passion to support small sized companies in Africa to identify new opportunities to create more jobs.

He mentioned that European Union (EU), through EIB, has supported small and medium sized companies since 1976.

He said that about 1.9 billion has already been invested, with over €500 million for microfinance alone.

In an address, Head of Cooperation of the delegation from the EU, Ignacio Burrull, said that the EU supports regional trade and economic partnerships and hopes to support agriculture soon especially in savannah areas in Ghana.

The agreement will complement a soon-to be signed €323 million bilateral agreement between the EU and the government of Ghana, he said.

‘We believe that this agreement is complementary to the efforts made by the EU.’

By Belvy Ofori

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