British International Investment
30 June 2020

CDC Group and Societe Generale combine forces to boost African trade with a US $100 million risk sharing facility


  • Deal bolsters trade finance in hard-to-reach African markets and helps fuel economic prosperity
  • Partnership to increase access to finance for local businesses and importers
  • Facility to support efficiency of value chains

CDC Group plc (“CDC”), the UK’s publicly owned impact investor, has closed a US $100 million trade finance risk sharing facility with Societe Generale. The facility will support Societe Generale to increase the limits that it currently provides to local banks and extend limits to new banks in Africa, particularly focusing on Francophone West Africa.

This first partnership between CDC and Societe Generale is critical in addressing the lack of commercial capital, at a time when there is limited access to international capital for local companies and importers. This commitment will therefore strengthen Societe Generale’s ability to provide critical funding to local importers of essential foodstuffs and resources – to help companies through the current economic crisis and to support job creation in Africa. In addition, several trades facilitated by CDC’s capital will support food and agricultural value chains, which are key priorities in CDC’s COVID-19 response.

This partnership promotes the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by supporting economic opportunities and growth, as well as contributing to an increase in jobs as importers increase their distribution networks. This will improve and increase efficiency throughout supply chains, enabling expanded access to commodities for households at more competitive prices (SDG 8). By supporting increased trade activity, this facility helps to promote sustainable industrialisation by contributing to a country’s employment and GDP (SDG 9).

Pierre-Antoine Barreault, Global Head of Trade Finance at Societe Generale commented: “As a long-standing banking partner of the African continent, operating locally in 19 countries, Societe Generale through this partnership with CDC is reaffirming its commitment for Africa and asserting its drive to support economies, private customers and corporate clients. This new sustainable growth initiative is part of the Bank’s “Grow with Africa” program which aims to foster positive transformation across the continent”.

Admir Imami, Director of Trade and Supply Chain Finance at CDC Group said:

“Societe Generale is a leading international bank with a positive commitment to Africa.  Our partnership is a significant step closer to narrowing the trade finance gap in the region. This commitment will stimulate trade and supply chain efficiency in Africa by supporting banks and smaller financial institutions in providing capital and increasing credit that businesses need for their continued growth. We know our capital will ultimately help business owners sustain company growth and create further jobs for those in their communities.”

Africa’s trade finance deficit is estimated by the International Chamber of Commerce at US $110 billion to $120 billion – representing about 25 per cent of the demand for trade finance in Africa. CDC and Societe Generale are playing a key role in bridging this gap by supporting local financial institutions to expand financing to businesses across Africa.


Media Contact:

CDC: Toyosi Adebayo / M. +44 (0) 7880 372 305

Société Generale: Ila Kotecha / +44 20 7676 6804

About CDC

  1. CDC Group is the UK’s first impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in South Asia and Africa.
  2. CDC is a leading player in the fight against climate change and a UK champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all.
  3. The company has investments in over 1,200 businesses in emerging economies and a total portfolio value of £5.8bn. This year CDC will invest over $1.5bn in companies in Africa and Asia with a focus on fighting climate change, empowering women and creating new jobs and opportunities for millions of people.
  4. CDC is funded by the UK government and all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.
  5. CDC’s expertise makes it the perfect partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment.

About Societe Generale

Societe Generale is one of the leading European financial services groups. Based on a diversified and integrated banking model, the Group combines financial strength and proven expertise in innovation with a strategy of sustainable growth. Committed to the positive transformations of the world’s societies and economies, Societe Generale and its teams seek to build, day after day, together with its clients, a better and sustainable future through responsible and innovative financial solutions.

Active in the real economy for over 150 years, with a solid position in Europe and connected to the rest of the world, Societe Generale has over 138,000 members of staff in 62 countries and supports on a daily basis 29 million individual clients, businesses and institutional investors around the world by offering a wide range of advisory services and tailored financial solutions. The Group is built on three complementary core businesses:

  • French Retail Banking which encompasses the Societe Generale, Crédit du Nord and Boursorama brands. Each offers a full range of financial services with omnichannel products at the cutting edge of digital innovation;
  • International Retail Banking, Insurance and Financial Services to Corporates, with networks in Africa, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and specialised businesses that are leaders in their markets;
  • Global Banking and Investor Solutions, which offers recognised expertise, key international locations and integrated solutions.

Societe Generale is included in the principal socially responsible investment indices: DJSI (World and Europe), FTSE4Good (Global and Europe), Euronext Vigeo (World, Europe and Eurozone), four of the STOXX ESG Leaders indices, and the MSCI Low Carbon Leaders Index.

For more information, you can follow us on Twitter @societegenerale or visit our website

* Know more about Societe Generale’s “Grow with Africa” program

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