AfDB partners AFREXIMBANK to support African small, medium businesses

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is to provide a $500,000 grant
under its African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) programme to support
emerging small, medium businesses in Africa.
During the recently concluded Annual General Meetings and 25th
anniversary celebrations of the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK)
in Abuja, the bank signed an agreement to formalise the grant.
The Managing Director, Intra-African Trade, AFREXIMBANK, Kanayo
Awani, signed the agreement on behalf of her bank, while Senior
Director, Nigeria Country Office, Ebrima FAAL, signed for the AfDB.
The ceremony was witnessed by Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Austria
in Nigeria, Elfriede Geisler, and Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Yutaka
Kikuta, who represented the FAPA donor countries.
Mrs 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.
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
This situation, he said, impeded their growth and prevented them from pursuing commercial opportunities.
“AFREXIMBANK sees factoring as a solution to bridge the funding gap
facing SMEs, and the agreement will support our strategy to grow
intra-African trade and facilitate greater SME contribution to regional
and global supply chains,” Mr Oramah said
He said 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.
The agreement with the AfDB, and the grant from FAPA, he noted, would
reinforce and grow the availability of effective factoring across the
continent and increase awareness of its availability.
Details of activities the grant would finance include: capacity
building to address needs, including on-site training, provision of
back-office support systems and customised manuals for marketing, credit
and risk policy, finance and operations.
Besides, the grant would support advisory services to established
factoring companies and serve as a platform to enable African factoring
companies to network, exchange ideas and share best practices.
The other activities include development of a sustainable knowledge
and learning platform, e-learning, workshops and the certificate of
finance in International Trade, which provides four weeks’ formal
training in factoring under a programme developed by the University of
Malta.

Also, the grant would help the provision of project management coordination to ensure timely project implementation.