(Ecofin Agency) - According to the West African central bank BCEAO, Côte d’Ivoire is the country where access to credit is more favorable for large firms in the region. Meanwhile, Senegal is the most favorable country for SMEs.
In the WAEMU community, Côte d’Ivoire is the country where interest is lower for loans to large firms. According to the recent report on credit conditions published by the central bank BCEAO, the average interest was 4.54% in Côte d’Ivoire, in 2021. Comparatively, in Niger and Mali, it was over 7%, and 9.22% in Guinea-Bissau.
When it comes to countries whose credit access conditions are more favorable for SMEs in the region, Senegal takes the lead with interest rates averaging 4.78% against 6.01% for Côte d’Ivoire, which comes second in that segment.
The BCEAO does not provide reasons to explain the disparities in countries under the same monetary policy. Nevertheless, this can be due to macroeconomic and microeconomic contexts. Also, Senegal has more financial support options (for development programs) for SMEs and SMMEs than Côte d’Ivoire.
It should be noted that Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire are exceptions in the subregion. On average, in the region, the interest rate for loans to large companies is 5.32% and 6.23% for SMEs. Overall, they are down from the 2011 average, which was 8.32% average.