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News > Investors

AfDB approves €12m investment in Yeelen fund

Staff writer
March 16, 2020, 3:43 p.m.
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Word count: 437

The African Development Bank has approved a €12m stake in the capital of the Yeelen fund, a 12-year investment fund domiciled in Mauritius and Lomé. 

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The African Development Bank has approved a €12m stake in the capital of the Yeelen fund, a 12-year investment fund domiciled in Mauritius and Lomé. 

The fund aims at a capitalization of €65m in order to invest in the financial institutions of the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). 

The fund will invest capital in banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs), financial technology companies (Fintechs) and insurance companies.

The aim is to help these institutions comply with regulatory requirements in terms of minimum capital and equity; to support their expansion by widening their reach to financially excluded populations and by developing credit and insurance products adapted to their conditions.

Through this investment, the African Development Bank intends to strengthen financial inclusion in the WAEMU zone, which remains one of the areas least well served by financial products such as micro-credits, and by insurance products such as insurance, micro and meso-insurance.

Stefan Nalletamby, Director of the Bank's Financial Sector Development Department, said: “The Bank is delighted with a collaboration with Yeelen Capital promoted by Cauris Management with which it intervenes in the area through previous funds.” 

“We hope that this collaboration will increase deep inclusion and further stimulate the development of the area's private sector while improving the living conditions of target populations,” he said.

"This fund will help strengthen level 2 and 3 financial institutions, enable them to comply with regulatory requirements and unlock funding for SMEs and populations underserved by the traditional banking system, in particular women, young people and populations in rural areas, "he added.

Ultimately, Yeelen aims to create nearly 1,500 jobs, 40% of which are occupied by women, and encourage and help banks and insurance companies to develop innovative products using digital finance (microinsurance, micro - loans, climate insurance, savings products), with the aim of empowering women and young people, and ultimately reducing poverty.

The Yeelen Fund aims to finance and strengthen the capacities of banks, microfinance institutions, insurance companies offering products that meet the needs of SMEs, women and rural populations. 

It thus aims to lift these populations out of precariousness and to improve their living conditions.

Founded on January 10, 1994, in Dakar, the WAEMU's main objective is the construction, in West Africa, of a harmonized and integrated economic area. 

Eight coastal and Sahelian states make up the WAEMU: Benin, Burkina, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

The UEMOA is an attractive and growing space, with favourable demographic data and displaying an overall GDP of around €81bn. 

The IMF forecasts around 6.5% growth in this area over the period 2019-2020.

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