The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $35 million unfunded risk-sharing facility to support the trade finance activities in Africa of Ecobank International affiliates, EBI SA.
The money was approved on 19 November 2021, Stefan Nalletamby, Director for Financial Sector Development at the African Development Bank, said.
The director said the renewal of the partnership with Ecobank comes at a time when most African issuing banks are battling with the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Institutions are facing severe constraints in obtaining adequate facilities from international banks to support African small businesses and local corporates involved in international trade.
“The facility will support more than 50 issuing banks operating in 35 African countries and is projected to catalyze close to $300 million worth of trade transactions over a three-year period,” said Nalletamby.
The facility aligns with the acute market demand for trade finance in Africa in agriculture, transport, construction, health and manufacturing, and is consistent with the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities, specifically Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Feed Africa.
“It is also in line with the operational priorities of the Bank’s Financial Sector Development Strategy, which promotes increased access to finance for small businesses and widening and deepening African financial markets.’’
The Bank’s Deputy Director General for West Africa, Joseph Ribeiro, said: “We are happy about this new facility with Ecobank as it offers the flexible use of the Bank Group’s strong AAA-rated risk-bearing capacity to increase access to trade finance on the continent, and more specifically, to support access to finance for small and medium enterprises and local enterprises operating in fragile states.”
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated is headquartered in Lomé, Togo, as a pan-African bank holding company.
It has a presence in 32 African countries and is represented in France through its affiliate, Ecobank International, EBI SA. Ecobank has representative offices in Beijing, China, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the UK.
Its shares are listed on the Ghana, Nigeria and the West African Monetary Union Stock Exchanges.