ACA Collaborates with GIC-CI to organize an ‘Access to Finance for cashew Processing forum' in Cote d’Ivoire

 From the 7th  - 8th December, 2017, at the Azalaï Hotel, in Abidjan, stakeholders in the Ivorian cashew industry gathered  together for a two-day forum on Access to Finance for Cashew Processing. The forum was organized by the ACA in collaboration with the Cashew Processors Association of Cote d’Ivoire (GIC-CI), and supported by the GIZ Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew) as well as the Conseil Coton Anacarde (CCA), of Cote d’Ivoire. The  forum brought together as many financial institutions as can be reached in Cote d’Ivoire, to meet face to face with the processors for discussions and hands on sharing of knowledge on the sector, review of what financing products can better address the needs of cashew processors, and provision of detailed information, processes and conditions for accessing financing. There was also an Expo to facilitate business to business meetings, match making and striking of financial deals. 

The main objective of the Forum was to enhance the knowledge of financial institutions in the dynamics of the cashew sector and increase financing to cashew processors.  In attendance were dignitaries in the persons of Mr Mougo Kobenan Pierre, Director for Industries, representing the Minister of Industry and Mines of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Denis Kouzia, Deputy Director General of CCA,  representing the Managing Director of the Conseil Coton Anacarde (CCA), Mr. Lukman Diaby, President of the GIC-CI, Madam Mary Adzanyo, Director of private sector development of the Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew) and Mr. Ernest Mintah, Managing Director of the ACA, who performed the opening ceremony of this all important forum.  145 Participants from the cashew value chain, bankers, and government departments responsible for cashew, development finance institutions, and development cooperation agencies attended the Forum. Though the Forum was meant for cashew value chain actors in Cote, d’Ivoire, participants from Guinea Conakry, India, UK, Benin, Liberia, and Nigeria were also present.

The first day of the forum saw experts from the cashew value chain, sharing knowledge on “opportunities in the African cashew industry”, “Risk Management in cashew financing”, “industrial economics of cashew processing”, “structured financing for cashew processing” and models of structured financing from some Banks.  Presentations of some commercial banks were on available products as well as procedures and requirements for accessing financing. A highlight of the forum was the singing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between ACA and GIC-CI, towards future collaboration in support of the Ivorian cashew processing industry for technical assistance and organizing of such learning forums.

The second day focused on development banks and how they could also support value addition in the cashew industry. Presentations came from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), GroFin – Business Financier and the Ivorian government regulatory authority in charge of warehousing receipt systems. 

Financial institutions engaged in discussions aimed at establishing financial transactions with processors.  ACA was called upon to make a business case for a special lending model by institutions such as AfDB, which traditionally offer higher loans in excess of the capacity of the cashew processors in Africa.

At the end of the two- day event, financial institutions increased their knowledge in the cashew sector and took stands to start developing appropriate lending products, Processors understood the requirements for accessing financing for their businesses. B2B meetings further opened opportunities for starting business discussions.

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