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July 25, 2024

UBA-AfCFTA $6bn Loan Partnership to Finance Agro-processing SMEs, Others

In a bid to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), the United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its commitment to providing a $6bn facility to businesses within the Agro-processing, Automotive, Pharmaceuticals, and Transport and Logistics sectors. 

This project, organized in collaboration with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, was disclosed by the bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi, during the recent Africa Day celebration at the Lagos International Trade Fair.

Akinyemi highlighted the bank’s dedication to SMEs across the continent,  stressing that the partnership’s goal was to provide funding to eligible businesses around the continent.

“We signed the agreement with AfCFTA on the sidelines of the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meeting, which was held in Accra, Ghana. 

“By this agreement, both parties are to promote the development of SMEs operating in Four sectors under the 1st phase of the partnership which are largely import dependent by providing technical and financing solutions for intra-African/domestic alternatives. These economic sectors are Agro-processing, automotive, pharmaceuticals, transport, and logistics.

“One of the key initiatives of the AfCFTA is to improve access to finance and markets for SMEs to encourage their growth and contribution to the socio-economic development of Africa.” 

“He further mentioned that this move was in line with UBA’s strategic focus on the SME segment being a catalyst to the economic development of Africa.

Commending UBA’s support for SMEs through various opportunities and the recent $6bn financing partnership with AfCFTA contribution, Asiwaju Michael Olawale-Cole, President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, expressed appreciation for the bank’s consistent participation as a partner and headline sponsor of the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) over the past six years.

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