The choose africa Initiative was unveiled by the french President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Kenya.
The initiative will avail close to 10,000 African start-ups and small businesses an opportunity to receive financial and technical support to the tune of (€2.5 billion).
The initiative seeks to ignite innovative and entrepreneurial ideas among African youth and help create jobs and wealth in africa knowing that africa holds the largest portion of youthful population in the world handing the continent a labour dividend in terms of productivity, innovation and consumer market growth, but only in the presence of enough opportunities.
Presently, however, the youth bulge, which should be a blessing, has barrelled into a wall of high unemployment amid declining opportunities, breeding runaway crime, while pushing thousands others abroad in pursuit of greener pastures. Small businesses often find it hard to access bank loans because they are perceived to carry a high risk profile based on the unpredictable nature of their cash flows that increases defaults chances.
French President Macron, who is on an official tour of the continent, currently in Kenya, now seeks to help absorb a portion of this neglected market segment through the Choose Africa policy-action running up to the year 2022.
The French government will use the French Development Agency (AFD), along with its private sector investment arm, Proparco to implement the programme targeting start-ups along with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Out of the earmarked €2.5 billion, the AFD will offer businesses €1 billion through equity investment and a further €1.5 billion through credit lines at local banks.