From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has sealed a 500-million dollar deal with the China Development Bank (CDB) to support trade enabling infrastructure projects across the continent.
The bank’s Director and Global Head, Communications and Events Management Department, Mr Obi Emekekwue who made the disclosure said the Afreximbank obtained the facility Thursday in Changsha, China.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, signed the agreement while Zheng Zhijie Liu, Vice Chairman and President of CDB signed for CDB, Emekekwue said in a statement.
According Oramah, the facility would also be used to support Afreximbank’ s trade finance intermediaries to provide medium to long term financing for sub-projects in energy, telecommunication, transportation, agriculture, medical sector, industrial park or any related trade finance transactions.
The signing ceremony of the facility, which had a 10-year tenure, was done on the sidelines of the “4th Investing in Africa Forum” in Changsha.
“This facility strengthens our capacity to realise our mandate and makes it possible for Afreximbank and CDB to achieve important development outcomes in Africa.
“We are actively seeking to drive Africa’s development by working with partners to support employment creation, increased economic activities, and increased tax earnings for governments,”Oramah said.
Oramah said the facility would contribute to the promotion of South-South trade, particularly between China and Africa, while providing long-term funding, which Afreximbank would transfer to its clients.
Zheng Zhijie said, as a development finance institution of the Chinese government, CDB had always promoted China-Africa cooperation as the focus of its international business.
He said since 2006, the bank had provided more than 50 billion dollars for nearly 500 projects in 43 countries.
He added that the funds had been used to support a large number of key projects in infrastructure, energy and minerals, telecommunications, agriculture and others.