Looking for Experts is a common situation among organizations such as the African Development Bank, the French Agency for Development and the World Bank for which I have been working for ten (10) years as an expert in the financial sector and in the financing of SMEs.

What are the specific needs in this field? What advice can be given to meet those needs?

Difficulties in finding the right Expert

Notwithstanding the ambition of their objectives, the organizations have noticed that the impact of their interventions remains below their expectations. This situation is due to a failure at the level of the involved Experts Experts mostly either master the technical aspects but not the environment of their interventions, or they know the environment (sectoral, regional, local) but they are not on the top of the technical capabilities.

Consequently, they often produce standard reports for all the countries, otherwise their reports sometimes default on technical expertise. But isn’t the production of solutions specific to each situation one of the key functions of an Expert ? In my experience, I have often witnessed that these non-accurate reports unfortunately make the process of decision-makers longer, more difficult, and more costly.

Case study on leasing

I have been lucky to practice the global approach as an expert quite often while working with the World Bank in Africa, particularly in Ivory Coast where I was a mandated to develop leasing, although that product has been existing since 1962.

My first assessment was that the bills, regulations or directives were dropped off by the Administration and that each involved party applied them as they wished. Most importantly was that the end users had neither knowledge nor the capability allowing them to controle the legislation.

Identifying and synchronizing the roles of all the parties in the chain was one of the biggest challenges. I finally convinced the authorities to adopt a participatory approach and to set up a steering committee bringing together the entire chain of contributors.

It has been very successful, as we started to observe results:

The Ivorian authorities have put in place the appropriate legal and fiscal framework to the activity ; the financial sector has invested in technical support to control leasing technicalities and to suggest suitable options to the Ivorian context ; and finally, the training of Small and Medium Enterprises (about 1500 companies) in addition to the training of more than 600 persons including judges, lawyers, notaries and bailiffs.

4 years later, the economy of this sector has almost doubled from $85 mio in 2014 to $126 mio in 2018.

Accordingly, I believe that “Experts Without Borders” organization initiative came in the proper time to meet this need by setting up a database of experienced Experts at the service of economic operators and international financial donors, in order to carry out their projects.

Nizar Snoussi

Former banker with 24 years of experience
International business lawyer
Expert at the World Bank Group on the financial sector and the financing of SMES on French-speaking African courtiers
Expert in leasing at the Central Bank of West Africa States “BCEAO” and at the Organization for the Harmonization of African Business Law.