By Joseph INOKOTONG, Abuja
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Monday in Cairo signed an agreement granting an EUR 30 million revolving trade financing facility to Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations du Gabon (CDC Gabon) to support the operations of the tenants of the Gabon Special Economic Zone and to provide them with the capacity to export their products.
A statement issued by Obi Emekekwue of the Afreximbank said under the terms of the agreement, the facility will be used to finance the working capital needs of eligible companies in the Gabon Special Economic Zone to help them process timber and make it ready for export.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Afreximbank President Prof. Benedict Oramah said that the facility will indirectly support the Special Economic Zone to succeed as the first and largest industrial park in Gabon.
The facility aligned with Afreximbank’s mandate of supporting intra-African trade, and export development and industrialization, he said, noting that most of the processed exports coming out of the Special Economic Zone were directed at neighbouring African countries, ultimately strengthening regional economic integration.
“This collaboration opens the potential for our two institutions to strengthen our relationship and mutual cooperation in order to make significant contributions towards unlocking the full potentials of industrial parks and export processing zones and delivering the much-needed developmental impact on our continent,” said President Oramah.
Responding, Herman Nzoundo BigNoumba, CEO of CDC Gabon, said that the facility would reinforce Gabon’s capacity in wood processing by making it possible to achieve first and second level processing, thereby moving the country beyond merely being a logging nation.
It would also support the government’s policy aimed at changing the way wood was treated in the country, added Mr. BigNoumba.
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 organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved about $60 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $8.5 billion in 2017.
Afreximbank had total assets of $11.9 billion as at 31 December 2017 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo.