Lagos- The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it has provided about 350 million dollars in financing to support cocoa processing activities in the African four major cocoa producing countries.
This is contained in a statement in Lagos credited to the bank President, Jean-Louis Ekra, on Monday.
The statement quoted Ekra as saying this at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Afreximbank and the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) in Cairo.
It said that the gesture was aimed at boosting the development of the African cocoa sector and cocoa related business.
The statement said that the bank also has in the pipeline an additional $400 million for the purpose.
It reaffirmed Afreximbank’s commitment to help achieve greater involvement of Africa in the global cocoa value chain and to increase cocoa consumption in Africa.
“Besides, it is to diversify the continent’s cocoa export markets, and improve productivity and income levels for African cocoa farmers.
“It is to achieve these ends that the bank launched its African Cocoa Initiative (AFRICOIN),” said Ekra.
The statement said that under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, the initial focus would be on the development and implementation of solutions to improve the structural conditions of cocoa markets.
It added that focus would be to enhance the long-term competitiveness of small-holder cocoa farms and of the continental cocoa and chocolate products industry, to reinforce their capacity to participate in global trade.
Mr Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director of ICCO, lauded Afreximbank for the gesture.
Anga reiterated that there was need for a strong focus to support indigenous African businesses to play an active role in the processing of Africa’s cocoa.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is the foremost Pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.
The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.
Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organisation, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations.
Since 1994, Afreximbank has approved almost $30 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $3.5 billion in 2013.
Afreximbank is headquartered in Cairo. (NAN)