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IFC and Ecobank to Support Trade Finance in Seven African Countries

IFC and Ecobank to Support Trade Finance in Seven African Countries

IFC’s $140 million trade finance guarantee facility will help strengthen the participating affiliates’ trade finance operations and leverage ETI’s wide-spanning footprint in Africa.

To promote trade and foster economic growth in Africa, IFC last week announced trade finance facilities with seven Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) subsidiaries operating in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, and Togo.

IFC’s $140 million trade finance guarantee facility will help strengthen the participating affiliates’ trade finance operations and leverage ETI’s wide-spanning footprint in Africa to assist in developing new trade partnerships for businesses in these countries. Strengthening Africa’s trade lines will help reduce the continent’s reliance on imports and contribute to economic development.

The trade line is part of IFC’s $1 billion African Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program (ATRI), which is supporting Africa’s regional trade development. IFC’s trade finance facility for Ecobank was announced at the Africa CEO Forum, which convenes business leaders, policymakers, and investors to discuss economic and social issues and opportunities across the continent.

“Our partnership with IFC is a testament to our strong relationship with an important and longstanding partner. Establishing the Global Trade Finance Program supports Ecobank’s goal to boost trade within Africa and help small and medium-sized businesses engage confidently in cross-border trade,” said Alain Nkontchou, Chairman Ecobank Transnational Incorporated. “By removing financial barriers, we will leverage Ecobank’s borderless payment platform and solutions to help businesses take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area single market.”

“IFC’s renewed partnership with Ecobank Group will facilitate access to finance for businesses in Africa, support economic growth, and boost job creation,” said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC’s Vice President for Africa. “Partnering with the Ecobank Group will enable IFC to support small businesses, many operating in environments where securing trade finance can be challenging.”

Under this partnership, IFC will also provide advisory services to Ecobank and its subsidiaries, with a focus on helping the banks boost their support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and increase access to finance for businesses owned or run by women.

IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) extends and complements the capacity of banks to deliver trade financing by providing risk mitigation in new or challenging markets where trade lines may be constrained. Under the program, IFC has issued guarantees worth more than $100 billion globally to date. In financial year 2023 alone, IFC issued $9.1 billion, of which $3.5 billion was in Africa.

IFC and Ecobank have a longstanding partnership supporting trade, business growth, and entrepreneurship dating back to 1993.

Fabio Scala

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