Innovation in financing agricultural entrepreneurship in WAEMU

June 26, 2024, Paris et en ligne

How can public / private finance (blended finance) support the development of agricultural value chains in Africa?

Conference organised by WAEMU, FERDI Chair of Agricultural modernisation policies in Africa and association ALFA. 

Information

Wednesday, June 26th 2024
2.00 - 6.00 PM (Paris time)

Venue: Invivo Group Headquarters, Paris
83 Avenue de la Grande Armée
75782 Paris Cedex 16
France

Option to follow the conference live (Zoom)

REGISTRATION: https://framaforms.org/sinscrire-a-la-conference-linnovation-financiere-au-service-de-lentreprenariat-agricole-dans-luemoa

Context

WAEMU intends to undertake a major strategic reorientation of its agricultural policy, including diversifying funding sources and increasing private sector involvement within an integrated approach to agricultural value chains.

The regional institution has observed that the current credit supply is largely inadequate: the maturity periods of bank loans are too short to finance investments, and the interest rates are often too high given the profitability of activities; the standardization of financial products is poorly compatible with the fluctuations of agricultural activities; and the collateral requirements clash with the very limited asset base of the concerned actors and the precariousness of land tenure. As for development institutions dedicated to the private sector (such as IFC, PROPARCO, DEG, FMO, etc.), their risk management can potentially conflict with impact objectives.

So, what solutions can bridge the gap between the supply and demand for financing in the agricultural, agro-industrial, and livestock private sectors? How can more capital be attracted to a sector perceived as too risky, where returns can be too long compared to market demands (considering the challenges of structuring sectors and climatic risks, etc.)?

FERDI has studied for WAEMU the formula of a "blended finance" investment vehicle, which should help mitigate risks, accelerate investment returns, and amplify environmental and social impacts.

Objectives

The conference will present and discuss the main features and feasibility of this financial instrument, which would be managed by asset management professionals, combining public, philanthropic and private resources, and and would be exclusively dedicated to the agriculture and livestock sector in Africa.

It will bring together various stakeholders involved, such as project leaders, business owners, investors, foundations, donors, financial institutions, public administrations and regional organisations. Together, they will examine this instrument designed to support up to one hundred African agribusinesses "champion" enterprises capable of significantly stimulating the structuring of value chains, including small family farms.

Programme

Part 1. 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Presentation of the challenges facing the agricultural sector in Africa

Round table discussion on needs (access to finance, development of value chains, modernisation, etc.) within the WAEMU, with contributions from entrepreneurs in the agricultural, livestock, and agribusiness sectors.

Part 2. 3:00 PM - 4:10 PM

Presentation of FERDI's involvement in meeting WAEMU's expectations. 

Presentation of the proposed financial vehicle: structure of the fund, investment targets, financial and extra-financial objectives of the project.

Justification of the mobilisation of public resources to de-risk private investment through impact measurement.

Break

Part 3. 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Discussion between stakeholders (agricultural entrepreneurs, representatives of the French administration, regional institutions, donors, investment funds, foundations & philanthropic funds, private investors) in response to the presentation of the financing vehicle, and expression of specific needs and expectations in the field.

Questions and answers from the floor

Partners

  • Union économique et monétaire ouest africaine-UEMOA
  • Fondation pour les Études et recherches sur le développement international (Ferdi)
  • Association ALFA
  • Groupe InVivo