People & Money

Afreximbank Launches $1.5bn Covid-19 Support Facility

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and its partners have launched a $1.5 billion collaborative COVID-19 pandemic response facility to support African economies.

The pan-African multilateral trade finance institution in a statement on Wednesday said the facility was launched to reduce the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in African countries.

Afreximbank said the COPREFA facility will be accessed by eligible central banks, commercial banks and businesses to finance importation of medical supplies.

It will also enable countries import agricultural equipment and fertilizers essential for addressing the pressing food production deficit.

Also Read: Coronavirus: Afreximbank Disburses $200m Facility to Zenith

The facility is also designed to support African economies to overcome a myriad of challenges such as commodity price shocks, a significant drop in tourism, and disruption to supply chains and export manufacturing.

COPREFA will also address sudden declines in financial flows, including a drop off in trade and project finance, migrant remittances, portfolio investment and foreign direct investments (FDIs).

Afreximbank said standard eligibility criteria and credit appraisal process have been developed in order to facilitate implementation of the facility.

It further said support will be available through direct funding, lines of credit, confirmation and refinancing of documentary credits, guarantees, cross-currency swaps and other similar instruments.

Benedict Oramah, president of Afreximbank, said: “Afreximbank’s priority has always been to step-up when markets fall. That is why we are supporting African economies forcefully at the time of great difficulties.

“COPREFA, a product of a unique international partnership, is a major contribution to the global fight against the pandemic and will work alongside our other programs to ensure Africa’s future remains bright beyond this economic shock. We thank our partners for the confidence.”

Also Read: The Lunch Hour – Kanayo Awani, Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative at Afreximbank

Sidi Ould, director-general of BADEA, said: “BADEA has joined the fight against the pandemic by allocating a gross amount of more than $500 million in the COPREFA and other initiatives.

“These allocations will be utilised to ease the negative impacts of the pandemic on African economies and ensure the flow of essential strategic commodities to the continent”.

The bank’s partners include International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), trade finance arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, and Arab Bank For Economic Development in Africa (BADEA).

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