The African Development Bank (AfDB) has extended a €13mn line of credit to Société Nigérienne des Banques (Sonibank) to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Niger.

The loan will help Sonibank respond to SMEs’ medium and long-term financing needs in various sectors including agri-food, poultry, construction, public works, trade, transport, educations and health, boosting the Niger private sector’s sustainable growth and job creation in the country.

This is the second time the AfDB has provided assistance to the private sector in Niger, and its first operation in support of a financial institution. The line of credit is expected to help Sonibank strengthen its position as a financial leader in Niger and reinforce its capacity through technical assistance provided by the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (Fapa), which is part of the transaction.

Sonibank’s indicative portfolio of projects includes 12 companies that should receive loans averaging €1mn.