A new European Solidarity Financing Fund for Africa, FEFISOL II, has been launched with a first closing of $24.1 million and a technical support envelope of $1.07 million, according to a statement from the European Investment Bank.
The second fund aims to finance African rural microfinance institutions and agricultural entities sourcing from small-holder farmers in the continent.
Apart from European Investment Bank, Proparco via FISEA+, the Belgian investment company BIO, the Alternative Swiss Bank, Credit Cooperatif, Banca Etica and SOS Faim Luxembourg have also recently signed up for a stake in the fund, the statement added.
“Financing the agricultural sector is of uttermost importance in terms of food security, employment, resilience in the face of climate change, and finally, in terms of the financial inclusion of women who, even though they represent more than half of the agricultural workforce, often do not have the same access to financing as men,” EIB said in the statement.
The fund will be managed by Inpulse, a Brussel-based investment manager, a subsidiary of Credit Cooperatif and SIDI, and it will be structured to financially and technically support locally designed solutions to the challenges faced by Africa.
The FEFISOL II fund will be implemented in more than 28 African countries and is expected to support 110 microfinance institutions or agricultural companies.