Pan-African push for $500m trade finance
March 1-Ugandan private sector customers of Ecobank will soon have a chance to apply for trade finance after an understanding between African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the parent company of the Ecobank Group. Some $500 million is planned to be made available across the Ecobank network, but no timelines are forthcoming.
Ecobank Group CEO Ade Ayeyemi said: “We welcome this win-win collaboration between Ecobank and Afreximbank. It is a cooperation that will lead to a more efficient way of channelling trade finance towards supporting growth of intra-African trade and industrialisation.”
Under the agreement, Afreximbank and Ecobank will design joint innovative and tailor-made financial instruments and solutions to support private sector companies and select strategic public sector institutions, as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Ecobank has operations in 36 African countries including Uganda and is headquartered in Lome, Togo.
“This collaboration with Ecobank opens up more opportunities for African businesses to access much-needed financing for their trading activities. We are very proud at the opportunity to work with a pan-African financial institution like Ecobank to deliver on our shared goal of enhancing access to trade finance in Africa,” Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank said.
Afreximbank is the leading pan-African multilateral financial institution dealing with financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The two financial institutions believe the deal will enable the private sector to participate effectively in the production of value added goods and services in national, regional and continental value chains.
Afreximbank and Ecobank hope to promote intra-African trade, facilitate industrial development and export development while strengthening African trade finance leadership, with the ultimate goal of transforming the African continent. Afreximbank, which is based in Cairo, Egypt, had total assets of $9.4 billion at the end of April 2016.