By Temitope Ponle
Abuja, – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has approved a dual-currency Trade Finance Line of Credit (LoC) for ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).
In a statement issued on the website of the AfDB, the LoC comprises 50 million dollars and 50 million euros.
An additional co-financing of 30 million dollars for the credit line would come through the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).
Speaking after the board approval, the Deputy Director- General for the West Africa Region, Mr Joseph Ribeiro, said regional development finance institutions like EBID were key partners of the AfDB.
Ribeiro said they served markets and client segments critical to the overall development of the continent.
“They play an important role in promoting trade and regional integration.
“This is the bank’s first financing support to EBID, and we look forward to an even stronger partnership in the near future,” he said.
Also, Head of Trade Finance, Mr Lamin Drammeh, AfDB, spoke on the critical need for such support in the region.
“We are excited to work with EBID to increase access to trade finance in the ECOWAS region with a special focus on the agriculture value chain, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and women-owned businesses.”
Drammeh also said regional institutions like EBID complemented the AfDB’s efforts to bridge the trade finance gap in Africa.
He further said the EBID served as an effective conduit for channeling much-needed funds to underserved countries and sectors.
The EBID is expected to use the three-and-a-half-year facility to provide direct financing to local corporates.
Part of the facility would also be channeled through select local banks for on-lending to key sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, and transport.
The final beneficiaries would be SMEs, local enterprises, cooperatives and farmers in the West Africa region.
The EBID is the financial arm of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
It comprised 15 member states, established in 1999 as a legal entity, it operates through two windows, namely private sector and public sector operations.
Its member countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
The EBID contributes to attaining the objectives of ECOWAS by supporting infrastructure and other projects to promote regional integration. (NAN)