With a presence in 19 African countries, Société Générale responds positively to the challenges regarding the development of the African continent through the active support of its corporate foundation for solidarity-based initiatives that target education and professional integration, its two lines of intervention.
Although Africa represented 5 % of the group's revenue in 2016, the Société Générale Corporate Foundation devotes 15 % of its total budget to it. This sum has progressed from €1 M when it was created in 2006 to €3.5 M in 2018. "Above all, by financing programmes mainly in countries where we are established we are targeting the effectiveness of the actions deployed", explains Cécile Jouenne-Lanne, Director of the Foundation. "We have decided to support three priority partners in Africa that are perfectly familiar with the challenges faced by the continent. These are Care, Simplon and Terres en Mêlées. These organisations work in close collaboration with our own teams in the field. Naturally, we remain open to other local initiatives." Indeed, that is how the partnership with Terre en Mêlées came into being following an informal meeting in Madagascar between its founder - a former rugby player from the Stade Toulousain - and the Director of the Madagascan branch of Société Générale. "He presented the association's work to the Foundation's Board of Director which then decided to support it. "
Among the Foundation's parterns in Africa, Simplon.co, which is a social enterprise that offers free intensive training in web-based professions. Available worldwide and open to all, its main goal is to help integrate underprivileged members of society and job seekers, in particular categories that are under-represented in web-based professions. From the outset, Simplon.co has been an international enterprise. Today it is looking to bolster its operations in the European Union, West Africa, the Maghreb and the Middle East. To learn more about Simplon and its partnership with the Foundation, click here.
In an article published by the World Bank at the start of the year*, the authors highlighted the extent to which the human capital – namely the skills, experience and dynamism of a population – is a decisive factor in a country's development. According to the international organisation, this capital represents more than 65 % of the wealth of all the countries in the world, but just 41 % of that of low-income countries. In view of this challenge, and in the context of its 2020 strategic and financial plan - Transform to Grow – which makes Africa a priority market, the Société Générale Corporate Foundation supports actions in this continent that favour education by fighting exclusion and discrimination with a view to employment.