SANAD convenes financial sector players to drive digital solutions for agrifinance in Tunisia
Tunis, April 22, 2021 – The Technical Assistance Facility of the SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD TAF) sponsored a two-day webinar for financial sector players to explore innovative approaches for financing agricultural producers and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Tunisia against the background of the COVID-19 crisis. The more than 30 participants and speakers shared their learnings and expertise from countries as far ranging as Tunisia, Egypt, Georgia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius, and Germany. The exchange particularly focused on the potential for digital solutions to bridge disruptions to the flow of funding to agricultural producers, an economic segment contributing significantly to sustaining livelihoods across the Middle East and North Africa.
Led by consulting firm LFS Advisory, the first day provided an overview of the challenges faced by Tunisian agricultural producers and businesses, especially with respect to the current economic environment, and how innovations in financial technology – such as online banking, digital payments, mobile credit assessments, and more – can keep this segment’s access to crucial financing open. The second day focused on concrete examples and practical experiences in applying digital tools for inclusive outreach from financial institutions and digital solution providers in Tunisia, Georgia, Egypt, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Ines Ebrecht, Chairperson of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility, said: “The pandemic has clearly shown the integral role that digital solutions have to play in helping to maintain business operations in a volatile environment – for small enterprises and financial institutions alike. SANAD has long viewed digital transformation as a key element of financial inclusion as well as of strengthening the financial infrastructure that supports MSMEs. Farmers are very much in focus for our financial inclusion efforts; indeed, a full quarter of the current loans facilitated to MSMEs by SANAD are to agricultural businesses. Through projects like this one, we are keen to spread the knowledge and use of tech solutions in providing much-needed financing to agribusinesses, which account for more than 10% of Tunisia’s GDP and around 14% of jobs.”
The SANAD Fund for MSME finances micro, small, and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa and selected countries of sub-Saharan Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners.
The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility (SANAD TAF) multiplies the fund’s impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required research and development. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, an initiative of the SANAD TAF, encompasses a range of programs to support business owners throughout SANAD’s target region. By working together with local organizations that drive incubation and acceleration projects, the Entrepreneurship Academy provides entrepreneurs with guidance, resources, mentoring, networking opportunities, the chance to receive financial backing, and other means necessary to turn good ideas into successful enterprises.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; the Dutch development bank FMO; and Calvert Impact Capital.
For more information on the SANAD Fund for MSME, please visit: www.sanad.lu
For more information on Finance in Motion, please visit: www.finance-in-motion.com
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