The European Solidarity Financing Fund for Africa (Fefisol) was established in 2011 as the fruit of collaboration between Alterfin, a partner organization in France for international solidarity in development and investment, Sidi (Solidarité Internationale pour le Développement et l’Investissment) and Etimos (an Italian cooperative investment company). Although the capital of Fefisol mainly originates from private and public investors, including the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French Development Fund, the three founding organizations are also co-owners of the fund. In operational terms, Alterfin shares the work with its two colleagues.
A less than “conventional” fund
Fefisol distinguishes itself from “conventional” funds operating in Africa by focusing its operations on rural areas, in the form of loans, guarantees and capital investments in MFIs, but also in organizations of producers which are excluded from traditional banking systems and whose key business is the export market (specifically via their affiliation to the fair trade and/or organic network).
Conversely to current trends, 80% of the Fefisol portfolio is expressed in local currencies. Accordingly, partners in receipt of finance are not exposed to exchange risks.
In 2014, the Fefisol funds managed by Alterfin virtually doubled, totalling 6.5 million euros by the end of the year. This development has allowed us to support 22 partners (as against 11 in 2013) in nine African countries. The total portfolio of Fefisol now stands at just over 18 million euros.
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