VENTURES AFRICA – In a move to improve trade ties between the continent and Canada, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has been awarded a $30 million (4.8 billion naira) five-year line of credit by Canada’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC).
The agreement to the credit line, which would provide finance for African companies procuring Canadian goods and services, was signed at a ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa by President and CEO of EDC, Stephen Poloz, and President of Afreximbank, Jean-Louis Ekra.
“Afreximbank’s business interests align very well with those of EDC, particularly Afreximbank’s focus on the private sector and creating trade opportunities. While the line of credit is intended to facilitate business in all sectors, we see significant opportunities in ICT and extractive already developing,” Poloz said.
He posits that “Adding financial capacity for African-Canadian trade across 33 African countries through Afreximbank meshes very well with EDC’s partnership preferred philosophy.”
A statement released on Wednesday, on the approved credit-line, quoted Afreximbank president stating that the facility provided an opportunity to promote trade flow between Africa and Canada as well as deepen the business relationship between Afreximbank and EDC.
“The goods and services that are expected to be imported into Africa under the facility will serve to boost export diversification and enhance the economic growth and development of the continent.”
The Afreximbank boss said he planned to use the facility for medium term financing to support purchases of Canadian goods and services from a broad range of sectors, including mining, telecommunications, transportation, manufacturing, energy and agro-industry.
Last year, 457 Canadian companies used EDC’s products or services to undertake CAD2.4 billion ($2.3 billion) in export business in 46 African countries.