The Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), UK’s finance development institution, plans to spend a little more than $4 billion in Africa over the next five years, in the form of direct and indirect investments.

Some of the entity’s executives who are in fact actually visiting West Africa have revealed that in the framework of this new investment round, particular attention will be given to countries like Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire which are WAEMU’s two most dynamic economies.

“We see great opportunities in this region. CDC has been investing here even when it was perceived to be risky and problematic… We are using this trip to establish new connections and source deals in more innovative and impactful ways to support the growth of local businesses,” said Mark Pay, Managing Director of Equity Investments at CDC.

Besides Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, the CDC aims to increase the value of its commitments in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa so that it makes 20% of its overall investments in Africa. It would be very interesting to see to what extinct this new commitment will affect Small and Medium Enterprises.

In a report released in 2016 by the Ivorian firm ES Partners, it was revealed that the financial needs of these enterprises in Cote d’Ivoire alone were around CFA3,575 billion ($6.4 billion). A demand that cannot be met by the government and the local financing system alone.

*Ecofin Agency