Social impact investor Oikocredit has provided debt capital of €5 million ($5.8 million) to Union des Caisses de Credit Mutuel du Sénégal (CMS), the only microfinance institution in Senegal with a presence across the country.
The Netherlands-based Oikocredit’s loan will expand the CMS financial inclusion portfolio across its branch network, located mainly in the rural and peri-urban areas of Senegal.
“The shared interest in financial inclusion and sustainable improvement of the living conditions of low-income people makes it easier and more attractive for CMS and Oikocredit to work together,” said Amadou Jean-Jacques Diop, managing director at CMS.
“CMS aims to strengthen its regional leadership in financial inclusion and looks forward to having Oikocredit as a partner to support us in this plan,” Diop said,
Yves Komaclo, Oikocredit’s investment manager for West Africa, said the impact investor is the first international lender to return to CMS since the post-Covid economic stabilisation.
“We are keen to renew our partnership with this high outreach union of credit and savings cooperatives, which is uniquely positioned to support our regional financial inclusion strategy,” Komaclo said.
Oikocredit has supported CMS since 2007. With a €225 million outstanding portfolio at the end of 2020, CMS is one of Senegal’s most important microfinance institutions.
CMS has more than 33 years of experience in financial inclusion in Senegal. It has more than 1.3 million customers and members, and has a network of more than 220 branches.
Oikocredit lends as well as makes equity investments across Africa, Asia and Latin America. It had financed 544 firms, with total outstanding capital of €856 million as of March 31, 2021.
Since January alone, it has backed over half a dozen African ventures. These include three in Nigeria (Grace & Mercy, Valency Agro and FCMB), two each in Ivory Coast (Cavica and Fin’ELLE) and Kenya (Unaitas and Sidian Bank), and one in Mali (Comafruits).