In a bid to facilitate financial inclusion while improve efficiency of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Senegal and The Gambia through the piloting of an nouvelle tech-based solution for collecting and gathering credit information to creditors, it is said that the African Development Bank and VoLo last week signed a grant agreement worth $284,472USD.
The grant was signed on 18 October 2013 at the AfDB regional office in Senegal in the presence of Japanese Embassy First Secretary, Ambassador of Austria, AfDB and VoLo representatives. Yet, the project is expected to enhance the region’s financial structures by offering credit information, thus fostering access to lending for local enterprises.
Registered in Senegal and The Gambia, VoLo has established credit reference service providers who use its Trust Information Platform, VoLo’s proprietary technology information platform, which ensures that information on individuals and organisations is credible, recent and accessible. Its unique systems and processes bind biometric, biographical and credit data into one platform and a scalable database that analyses information while providing comprehensive and balanced scores for individuals and enterprises, say reports.
The grant has been provided from the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) and funded by Japan, Australia, the AfDB, the Australian Development Bank of whom would finance the VoLo Senegal & The Gambia Trust Information and Credit Bureau Pilot. A report says that the technical assistance program is expected to enable VoLo to produce an efficient dataset that supports a commercially viable business plan for the development of a credit reference information provider in the two countries. It would at the same time identify and measure the development impact of the VoLo Trust Information Platform technology in terms of greater access to finance enterprises.
The beneficiaries are expected to include 1,500 MSMEs and 700 individual entrepreneurs participating in the launch of the V-TIP technology to make their credit risk profile transparent, while facilitating access to finance, while at least eight financial institutions providing finance and trade insurance to the enterprises will benefit from the program by enhancing their credit portfolio management through accessing high quality credit information processed with broadly tested analytics.
It is said that the intense pilot project implemented would demonstrate its commercial viability and developmental impact, in perspective of replication of the project in other countries thus enhancing the potential beneficiaries as VoLo scales up its operations.
According to VoLo Executive Chairman, Abdou Draman Touray, the use of the VoLo Trust Information Platform, V-TIP is expected to enable financial firms to use objective and measurable criteria for extending credit, as it would create a level playing field for enterprises and enhance access to finance. Enhanced access to finance would thus reduce poverty and increase access to vital needs like healthcare.
All in all, while the project is expected to be successful thanks to Japan and Australia for their financial support, it has set its focus at enhancing the growth in the region through better access to finance for MSMEs as the core of Senegal and The Gambia private sector development, likely to be replicated in other African countries.