Ecobank, AfDB Sign Trade Deal

Albert Essien
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday signed a US$ 200 million Trade Finance Facility.

The facility was signed at an official ceremony held during the AfDB’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Kigali by Albert Essien, Ecobank’s Group Chief Executive and Alex Rugamba, Director, AfDB.

The facility comprises two components: a US$100 million unfunded risk-sharing facility to bolster Ecobank’s capacity as an international confirming bank for trade transactions originated by issuing banks in Africa and another US$100 million trade facilitation loan which will be used by Ecobank to provide trade finance support to local corporates and SMEs in Africa.

Over a period of three and half years, the facility will support approximately US$1.8 billion of trade transactions in Africa.

‘This facility will greatly support international and intra-regional trade in Africa,’ commented Albert Essien, Ecobank’s Group CEO.

‘We look forward to an ever-deepening collaboration with the AfDB to provide vital trade finance support to promote regional integration and the development of SMEs across Africa.’

In another development, ETI yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with eleni LLC (‘eleni’), the leading proponent and developer of commodity exchanges in Africa, with a view to establishing a cooperative framework to promote and accelerate the development of Africa’s agriculture.

Albert Essien, Ecobank’s Group Chief Executive, and Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, Chief Executive Officer of eleni, signed the MOU at an official ceremony held during the AfDB’s Annual General Meeting in Kigali.

Dr. Gabre-Madhin, a globally recognized thought leader in Africa’s development, is the former founder and CEO of the acclaimed Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), which has garnered various international awards and plaudits, including the Africa Investor Agriculture Initiative of the Year in 2011, and a first in Africa, the CIO award for IT excellence in business.

The partnership between Ecobank and eleni aims to realize a shared vision of transforming Africa’s competitiveness in global commodity markets, enhancing value addition and processing in the domestic economy and enhancing food security.

A business desk report

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