Sector: Financial Services
Country of operations: Senegal
New lease of life
Locafrique can lay claim to being the oldest financial leasing company in West Africa, but there’s nothing dated about the way the business operates today. Set up in 1977, the Senegal-based financial institution offers its customers a wide range of services, ranging from classical leasing and sale on credit to operational leasing and rental with a purchasing option – with the latter two being aimed at the vehicle market.
The firm operates in a range of sectors, but agriculture has become an increasingly prominent one. “In recent years we have been involved in the financing of agriculture,” says CEO Khadim Ba. “Nowadays, we are the leader in agricultural mechanisation, particularly in the rice sector.”
Locafrique boosted its operations in late 2013, when it signed a ten-year agreement with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Senegalese government. The agreement provides loan guarantees for Senegalese farmers who want to access financing for agricultural equipment.
“Opportunities are available to us, but the most important remain the creation of employment
CEO Khadim Ba
The company, which is headquartered in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, now has plans to further develop its business. These plans include expanding both its product range and its geographical reach within the region.
“Locafrique intends to expand its activities in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, as well as develop new product areas,” says Khadim. “We plan to create a factoring department for the financing of working capital and even factoring for export.”
The firm is also planning a major recruitment drive to support those expansion plans, while continuing to focus on developing the skills of existing employees. “Our most important challenges in the coming years are reinforcing our staff’s capacity by training them, making sure we maintain our rank of leader in leasing in West Africa, and the development of factoring in the West African sub-regions,” says Khadim. “Opportunities are available to us, but the most important remain the creation of employment and wealth.”
- 40 - The number of years since the financial leasing company was established