As Africa moves forward, we support their sustainable development

Responsible transformation

Africa and Societe Generale have an uninterrupted history going back for over a century. The Group is supporting the continent in a fair, environmentally-friendly and inclusive transition. Put simply, a sustainable and positive transition, drawing its strength from one conviction: the demographic and economic development of this continent – with its talent, natural resources and infrastructure projects – is a key issue of this millennium. Societe Generale supports local economies in particular through the Grow with Africa programme, a demonstration of our commitment to long-term performance.

With a presence in 19 countries, the Group is the leading international bank in West Africa.

Societe Generale in Africa

Africa is a continent full of opportunity and is undergoing profound changes. In addition to the tremendous energy of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, we are convinced that growth in Africa will come primarily from the private sector. For this to happen, the engagement of all economic actors, including French and African SMEs and Mid-Caps, is essential.

Frédéric Oudéa, Directeur général de Société Générale
Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive Officer

A winning partnership

Designed together with numerous international and local partners, the Grow with Africa programme includes numerous sustainable growth initiatives for positive transformation on the continent: financial inclusion, multidimensional support for African SMEs, infrastructure financing, and the development of innovative financing solutions for agriculture and renewable energy.

Supporting SMEs

SMEs are at the heart of Africa's economic momentum and play a vital role. They are the driving force contributing to the emergence of a middle class and promoting access to employment. The Bank is constantly adapting its initiatives and services to support their growth.

Infrastructure financing

Societe Generale is the leading French bank financing infrastructure in Africa. Energy, transport, telecoms networks, healthcare... the infrastructure sector, a key element of the continent's development, is growing at over 5% per year. The Group contributes to its growth by continually developing structured finance options.

Find out how Societe Generale is contributing to the "Water for All” development project in Cote d’Ivoire (Press Release in French only).

Further case studies: CHU in Benin, Douala Grand Mall

Promoting financial inclusion

Africa remains a continent with very few banks. In the countries where it is present, Societe Generale has been a major player in local economies for many decades and naturally contributes to the financial inclusion of populations.

In 2005, faced with the scale of the needs and the emergence of these new microfinance players, Societe Generale decided to participate in the development of the sector and to contribute, through them, to the development of banking services for the local population or the development of VSE-SMEs: creation as founding shareholders of five microfinance institutions, capital participation, granting of lines of credit, arranging and/or placing bonds in local currency with investors.

Innovating to finance renewable energy and agricultural businesses

Developing agriculture and improving access to electricity are key priorities in Africa. Societe Generale is working with our partners and leveraging on our expertise to support a wide range of projects: partnerships with local players, support for farmers, electricity production and distribution operators, among others.

Find out more about financing for agribusiness and renewable energies


  • 60%

    increase in outstanding loans to African SMEs by 2023

  • € 23bn

    in outstanding loans

  • 4.1million

    clients in Africa

  • 19

    countries in which the Group operates, with over 1,000 branches

Women are the future of the continent

What do African women do when it’s hard to find a job? They create one! While women are a driving force behind the continent’s economic momentum, they still face genuine obstacles when they start. Societe Generale supports them, notably through our commitment to the Women in Africa foundation. The Group is also committed to promoting gender equality and developing local talent in our African subsidiaries.

Women in Africa

Promoting equality

Supporting women's rugby in Africa

The ambitious Africa programme

Every year, the Societe Generale Foundation devotes €1 million to African development. The Africa programme was launched in 2018, supporting local initiatives with assistance from our partners. These initiatives target in priority professional integration and education, the development of skills in professions with a strong future, and access to training and sports.

Find out more about our commitments in Africa

Best Bank in Africa

At the 2019 Euromoney Awards for Excellence, the Group received the award for Best Bank in Africa for Corporate Responsibility.

  • € 2.45bn

    in structured finance commitments in 2020

  • € 120m

    This is the goal for outstanding loans to microfinance institutions in 2022, double the previous figure

Visit the Societe Generale in Africa website dedicated to sustainable development in Africa