Bank President Jean-Louis Ekra (Left) exchanges documents with ICCO Executive Director Jean-Marc Anga, following signing of memorandum of understanding at Afreximbank’s Cairo Headquarters
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has provided about $350 million in financing to support cocoa processing activities in the four major cocoa producing countries in Africa, Jean-Louis Ekra, President of the Bank, has said.
The Bank also had a pipeline of another $400 million, added Mr. Ekra, who was speaking at the Bank’s Cairo Headquarters on 28 November during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Afreximbank and the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) aimed at boosting the development of the African cocoa sector and cocoa related business.
He reaffirmed Afreximbank’s commitment to helping achieve greater involvement of Africa in the global cocoa value chain, increasing cocoa consumption in Africa, diversifying the continent’s cocoa export markets, and improving productivity and income levels for African cocoa farmers.
“It is to achieve these ends that the Bank launched its Africa Cocoa Initiative (AFRICOIN),” said Mr. Ekra, who noted that that initiative had become very popular today.
Also speaking, Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director of ICCO, welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with Afreximbank, saying that there was need for a strong focus on supporting indigenous African businesses to play an active role in the processing of Africa’s cocoa.
Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, the two organizations are expected to collaborate to develop activities, secure funding and jointly implement activities and projects towards sustainability in the production and trade of cocoa.
The initial focus would be on the development and implementation of solutions to improve the structural conditions of cocoa markets and to enhance the long-term competitiveness of smallholder cocoa farms and of local cocoa and chocolate products industry in order to reinforce their capacity to participate in global trade.
Obi EmekekwueAfreximbank External Communications