On the second of May 2018, the Government of the United Kingdom and Expertise France, France’s Technical Assistance Agency, will sign an agreement to jointly create the first microcredit agency in Libya.
The project funded with a £1,5 million (€1.71 million) grant of the United Kingdom government and implemented by Expertise France aims to provide the new agency with technical assistance, while Assaray Bank, a major Libyan bank, will provide the funds that will be allocated to small local entrepreneurs.
The microcredit finance agency called Assaray Namaa – which stands for “Growth” in Arabic – will be operated by Assaray Bank. It will consist in two branches located in Benghazi and in Tripoli, Libya, and aims to provide more than LD 15 million (€9.2 million) to local small entrepreneurs in its two first operating years. It should be operational by the end of this year.
Namaa will be hosted and managed by Assaray Bank, which will also provide the funds to be loaned to local small entrepreneurs. Thanks to this credit facility, local small entrepreneurs, with a special focus on youths and women, will be able to access microcredit from LD 20 to 30,000 (€12 to 18,000) with a repayment period of 2 years. These financial features can be adjusted later depending on market response.
This project is subsequent to a preliminary study financed by the European Union and conducted by ADIE France. It shown both the significant potential of microfinance in Libya and the large financing gap; this innovative project is an institutional and public-private response to these findings.