WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 – The World Bank approved today an International Development Association (IDA)* credit of $100 million to support Burkina Faso’s efforts in increasing access to digital financial services and credit for farmers, women, youth and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are currently either unserved or underserved financially.
The Financial Inclusion Support Project will particularly address the key constraints faced by women and women-led enterprises to access financial services which affect their ability to save, cope with shocks, and make productive investments.
“Many individuals in Burkina Faso, particularly women, the poor, and rural populations, remain excluded from the formal financial sector despite the continuous growth of the banking sector in recent years. This new project will expand financial inclusion for women-and small entrepreneurs by improving access to finance, markets, technology, and other services while also creating a supportive policy and regulatory environment for the financial sector,” said Cheick Kanté, World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso.
The project is aligned with the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, and with the country’s national economic and social development plan (PNDES), which places much importance on enhancing capacity building for the private sector, especially SMEs and setting up financial mechanisms adapted to SMEs’ needs. The project will enhance access to digital financial services and credit for individuals and SMEs in Burkina Faso over a six-year period.
“Through this project the government will also be able to digitize families’ social services and pension payments. By “going digital” a significant number of people will gain access to a basic transaction account. For many, especially the poor, women and youth, a transaction account is the first step to a broader set of financial services. The project will also establish the first locally-managed partial portfolio credit guarantee targeting SMEs, farmers and women-led entrepreneurs. This credit guarantee will help to crowd in private sector financing to underserved segments of the economy,” said Maria Eileen Pagura and Tenin Fatimata Dicko, co-Task Team Leaders of the project.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.