The African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged to provide a $500,000 grant under its African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) programme. The grant will tilt towards supporting small and medium businesses in Africa.
The bank signed an agreement to formalise the proposed grant during the recently concluded Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and 25th anniversary celebration of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) held in Abuja.
The Managing Director, Intra-African Trade, Afreximbank, Kanayo Awani, signed the agreement on behalf of the bank, while Senior Director, Nigeria Country Office, Ebrima Faal, was there to represent AfDB.
To witness the ceremony, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Austria in Nigeria, Elfriede Geisler, and Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta, who represented FAPA donor countries, were all in attendance.
In her reaction, Awani said the agreement was aimed at upgrading the capacity and skill-sets of up to 20 emerging factoring firms in the continent.
“Besides, the agreement would also help in providing advisory services to enhance the sustainability of established growth-orientated factoring firms, regulators, financial institutions and business and trade associations in Africa,” she said.
President of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, said Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa have long faced real difficulties accessing external finance for their business activities.
His words: “Afreximbank sees factoring as a solution to bridging the funding gap facing SMEs, and the agreement will support our strategy to grow intra-African trade and facilitate greater SMEs contribution to regional and global supply chains.”
He added that the bank was championing the development of factoring in Africa by focusing on the provision of credit lines to factors, capacity-building workshops, policy and regulatory inputs, advisory services and technical assistance to promote best practices.