The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a 35 million U.S. dollar unfunded risk-sharing facility for Ecobank International affiliates, EBI SA, to support trade finance activities in Africa.
In a statement issued by Mr Kwasi Kpodo of the Communication and External Relations Department, AfDB, on Thursday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the approval was given on Nov. 19.
According to it, Mr Stefan Nalletamby, Director for Financial Sector Development, AfDB, says the renewal of the partnership with Ecobank comes at a time when most African issuing banks are battling with the negative impacts 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 catalyse close to 300 million dollars worth of trade transactions over a three-year period,” he said.
Mr Joseph Ribeiro, the bank’s Deputy Director-General for West Africa, said that the bank was happy about the new facility with Ecobank.
He said “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.”
The statement said that the facility aligned with the acute market demand for trade finance in Africa in agriculture, transport, construction, health and manufacturing and was consistent with the bank’s High 5 strategic priorities, specifically Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Feed Africa.
It also said it was in line with the operational priorities of the bank’s Financial Sector Development Strategy, promoting increased access to finance for small businesses and widening and deepening African financial markets.
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.