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?

This event is organized by the FERDI's chair on Agricultural modernisation policies in Africa and the ALFA association, with the support of InVivo.

Practical Information

Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Time: 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM (Paris time)
Location: InVivo Group Headquarters, Paris
83 Avenue de la Grande Armée, 750012 Paris, France 

Conference in French

Remote participation via Zoom is available.



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

The regional institution has noted that the current supply of credit is often inadequate: bank loan maturities are too short, interest rates are high relative to the profitability of activities, and the standardization of financial products is incompatible with the fluctuations of agricultural activities. Furthermore, collateral loans are problematic due to the very limited assets of the stakeholders and the precariousness of property rights.  Furthermore, development institutions dedicated to the private sector may find that their risk management strategies can potentially conflict with their impact objectives. 

What solutions can overcome the mismatch between supply and demand for financing in the private agricultural sector?  How can more capital be attracted to a sector perceived as too risky ?

In partnership with the WAEMU Commission, FERDI has studied the architecture of a "blended finance" investment vehicle, which should help mitigate risk, accelerate investment profitability and amplify the positive environmental and social impacts of agricultural entrepreneurship development in WAEMU.


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.

Speakers. The conference 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.


1:30-2:00 pm. Welcome of participants

Welcome and introduction
2:00-2:05 pm

Thierry BLANDINIERES, Chief Executive Officer of InVivo

Part 1. Challenges and financing needs of the agricultural sector in West Africa
2:05-3:00 pm

Presentation of the issues 

A representative of the WAEMU Commission

Round table discussion

 Abou BACRY LY, Founder and President, GDM Agri Concept - Mauritania 

Damien KIKI, Director, Benin Pineapple Producers Network

Claudia SENGHOR, founder of Agrobabe - Senegal

Emmanuel VALLANTIN DULAC, Managing Director, Société Africaine d'Ingrédients (SAF Ingrédients) - Senegal

Part 2. Presentation of the financing vehicle for small agricultural enterprises in WAEMU countries
3:00-4:10 pm

Patrick GUILLAUMONT, President of Ferdi

Alexis BEFENO, Independent Financial Advisor - impact investing and blended finance

Pierre JACQUET, Professor of Economics, École des Ponts ParisTech, former Director of GDN

4:10-4:30 pm.  Coffee Break

Part 3. Discussion in response to the presentation of the financing vehicle, the expression of needs in the field and specific expectations
4:30-6:00 pm

Jean-Benoît du CHALARD, Deputy Director, Investment Department, Proparco

Jean-François LEPY, Managing Director, Soufflet Négoce, InVivo

Emmanuel MARCHANT, Vice President, Sustainable Milk Africa, Danone communities

Representative of the French Treasury

Jean-Michel SEVERINO, Chairman, Supervisory Board, Investissement & Partenaires

Karim Aït TALB, Managing Director, Geocoton and President, ALFA association

Q&A session with the audience

From 6:00 pm. Cocktail reception


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

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