Young entrepreneurs, and female-led firms in Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Gambia have been announced as the prospective beneficiaries of a US$50 million loan guarantee by the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) to Vista Group Holding.

Under the terms of the agreement, AGF will offer a guarantee of $50 million to Vista Group Holding, enabling Vista to extend loans to SMEs in the four West African countries where it operates. The primary targets for these loans include businesses in the green economy, young entrepreneurs, and SMEs led by women.

Yao Kouassi, Managing Director of Vista Group Holding, expressed the significance of the partnership with AGF in their mission to empower SMEs and contribute to financial inclusion across West Africa. He emphasized that this facility would expand their reach and provide crucial financial support to businesses driving economic development in the region.

Particularly noteworthy is the commitment to supporting SMEs founded and led by women, with 20% of the total guaranteed amount allocated to them. The Afawa program will also provide technical assistance to these women-led SMEs, enhancing their access to financing.

Through the risk-sharing mechanism facilitated by AGF, Vista Group can strengthen the financial stability of its four African subsidiaries by mitigating risks associated with SMEs in its loan portfolio. This collaboration aims to unlock the immense potential of SMEs in the region and drive inclusive economic growth through increased access to financing.

Jules Ngankam, Group Chief Executive Officer of AGF, expressed excitement about partnering with Vista Group, a leading player in the West African banking landscape. The collaboration combines expertise and resources to empower SMEs in the region and foster inclusive economic growth.