April 23, 2020: African Union Development Agency’s (AUDA-NEPAD) CEO Ibrahim Assane Mayaki and Ecobank Group’s CEO Ade Ayeyemi have agreed to collaborate on a continental initiative to support African micro and small medium enterprises (MSMEs) as they face the economic and social challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The objectives of the initiative:

  • Create a one-stop platform which will address the issues, challenges and needs of MSMEs during and post Covid-19, and be an all-encompassing, flexible and comprehensive one-size-fits-all tool for MSMEs in the formal and informal sectors across the continent.
  • Identify opportunities and innovative ways to support and protect MSMEs and job opportunities, especially in food and agribusinesses, technology startups, health specialised entities and those operating along with supply chain operations, noting that MSMEs account for an estimated 90 percent of businesses in most African economies.
  • The platform also aims to ensure that MSMEs have continuous access to national, regional and continental markets while recommending to policymakers, solutions regarding domestic debts as they are projected to face challenges due to the economic difficulties that the member states will face.

Speaking on the initiative, Mayaki highlighted that the Covid-19 pandemic while affecting global economies, will have a devastating effect on African economies and businesses.

“AUDA-NEPAD and Ecobank Group intend to jointly build a continental platform based on our initial ‘100,000 SMEs by 2020’ campaign which will provide an immediate response to the potential impact of Covid-19 on SMEs and job creation on the continent,” said Mayaki. He added that AUDA-NEPAD will leverage on its existing instruments, networks, and programmes to gather stakeholders around a digital platform that showcases and monitors the progress made.

Read Full Article