The year 2020 is rich in lessons for Cofina Group. The African leader in mesofinance continued its fundraising strategy by focusing on partnerships with DFIs (Development Financial Institutions) such as Proparco, FMO, and others. “These major players need structures like Cofina to directly reach SMEs and the world of microfinance. We offer them the means to reach the masses while creating impact ”, explains Serge Massamba Ndombele, Director of Strategy and Institutional Clientele at Cofina.
In the eyes of this expert in strategy, it will take 2,400 billion USD of additional public and private investments each year in the sectors of sustainable development in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of which 630 billion USD per year to achieve the SDGs in Africa. It is therefore necessary to set up a strategic partnership between the various financial players to truly create an ecosystem that would promote sustainable development mainly through SMEs.
In addition to raising funds, Cofina is also working on their structuring in order to finance players in the real economy over long maturities. “We want to prioritize productive investment with our counterparts, because it conditions the capacity to develop activities and maintain employment. Thanks to our last line of credit with a maturity of seven years, obtained from BOAD, we have structured the SME offer on longer-term productive investments. This is a strong signal from our strategic partner BOAD making it possible to make its mark in the development of SMEs over the long term.
With 100,000 projects financed over the last 6 years for an outstanding amount of CFAF 500 billion (just under $ 1 billion), Cofina has demonstrated the strength of its model in a continent where more than 80% of companies are SME and which is experiencing the strongest demographic and urban acceleration in human history. “Take the case of Senegal, a country of 16 million people. Each year, 350,000 children are born and around 600,000 people leave the countryside for the cities. This necessarily creates important challenges but also opportunities. It is therefore necessary to step up the efforts of funding actors to support young people who want to seize the emerging opportunities of these challenges ”, continues Serge Massamba Ndombele, very aware of the challenges of a continent in transformation.
Cofina is positioned at the top of microfinance and below banks. “We’re faster than the latter,” with an average credit of around $ 5 million.
Like the players in finance, Cofina was faced with this year 2020, a year of resilience, explains the financial expert. “We have demonstrated our ability to protect our teams (1,300 employees), to protect the assets of our clients and to help them better cope with this crisis, by allowing them to have a renegotiated schedule, for example. “This year pushes us to see business differently and to accelerate the CSR dimension in the execution of our strategy”.
For 2021, Serge Massamba Ndombele recommends that economic actors on the continent reassess their strategies. “The great shock of 2020, marked by the interruption of logistics chains and the cessation of activities, obliges us to have a cold, clinical analysis, as honest as possible, of the reality we face and the choices we owe operate.
For Cofina ‘s Director of Strategy and Institutional Clientele, it is necessary to observe and analyze the value chains of the different target sectors of the ecosystem: agribusiness, energy, infrastructure, etc., select the clients with the most roots in the ecosystem. this value chain, while asking three fundamental questions: What unique value do we bring to these customers? What quality of service? And How do you deliver this unique value?
Clearly, says Serge Massamba Ndombele, at the dawn of the new year that is coming, “we have to select a pipeline of viable projects, with a strong CSR impact to be financed while keeping our strategic objectives and our values”.