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Thematic Area:

SME Banking & Development


2015 - 2022


European Investment Bank (EIB)



Country Coverage:           

Angola, Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Project Overview

The primary objective of the EIB Financial Sector Operations in the Southern African Region is to encourage economic growth and job creation at the individual level for all types of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), including women and youth entrepreneurs.

The technical assistance (TA) Programme intends to achieve this by providing practical and effective support to Participating Financial Insitutions (PFIs) and MSMEs. The TA aims to create market awareness of the EIB’s loan facilities, to enhance the administrative and operational capacity of the PFIs and to increase the ability of the current and potential final beneficiaries (MSMEs) to present bankable projects to the PFIs.

EIB academy participants in a group photo

The TA Programme has successfully entered in its second phase. During the first five years of TA operations, our Frankfurt School experts worked with two national development banks, six commercial banks and seven non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) in 11 countries. The TA was delivered via a multi-channel approach that included training, on-the-job training, seminars, development of management information systems (MIS) and tools, and the customisation of software packages.

The launch of a yearly “EIB Southern African SME and Microfinance Academy” established a completely new format for cooperation between EIB and their PFI partners. The yearly event allows for dialogue and the exchange of experiences for both the C-suite and middle management. The Academies provide a forum to discuss sector trends and challenges, as well as the latest information about the EIB loan and TA Programmes.

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Another unique feature of the Programme includes the MSME support actions, which aim to increase financial literacy and the provision of business development services (BDS). Frankfurt School experts delivered the non-financial services directly or in cooperation with local partners such as business associations and universities.

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The Programme also included the development, piloting and establishment of the online master class on EIB Environmental & Social Sustainability Management (ESSM), which has welcomed 855 participants to date. At the end of March 2020, as an interim result, Frankfurt School has provided 238 classroom trainings to operational staff and management of the PFIs with more than 2,100 PFI training participants and more than 100 individuals trained as internal trainers for PFIs. In addition, more than 9,790 entrepreneurs participated in events, seminars and workshops, of which 1,400 were youth and 1,450 were women.