To support Cote d’Ivoire’s goal to achieve full economic revival by 2020, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has provided financing totalling 359 million euros to four Ivorian public enterprises, Bank President Jean-Louis Ekra has said in Cairo.
Speaking at the Afreximbank Headquarters during a visit by the beneficiary enterprises for a formal signing ceremony, Mr. Ekra named the affected enterprises as Societe des Transports Abidjanais (SOTRA), Compagnie Ivoirienne de Developpement des Textiles (CIDT), Port Autonome d’Abidjan, and Banque Nationale d’Investissements (BNI).
He said that Afreximbank provided the financing as part of its Country Programme for Cote d’Ivoire under which the Board of Directors had set aside $550 million in 2013 to support and facilitate Cote d’Ivoire’s economic recovery after the extended political crisis that confronted it.
According to Mr. Ekra, the financing provided by the Bank includes a 250 million-Euro syndicated loan facility arranged for the Port Autonome d’Abidjan to assist it toward achieving its vision of turning the Abidjan port into an international hub in West Africa, and a 50 million-Euro facility granted to SOTRA to enable it strengthen its capacity with the acquisition of additional 500 buses, 12 water buses, and a new ticketing system as well as help it improve its depots and enhance fuel control.
The Bank also granted 30 million Euros to BNI for onward lending to Ivorian small and medium-sized enterprises which may not meet the criteria for accessing financing directly from Afreximbank, while 29 million Euros was granted to CIDT to for the purchase of inputs and cotton grains for its agricultural campaign, enabling it to strengthen its rehabilitation and revival programme, added Mr. Ekra
The President noted that the first facility granted by Afreximbank under the Country Programme for Cote d’Ivoire was a $320 million-facility to the Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR) to enable it import urgently needed crude following the end of the post-electoral crisis in the country. SIR repaid that facility in full after only utilising it twice.
In his contribution, Eugene Allou, the Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire to Egypt, who accompanied the delegation, said that the large number of contracts being signed at the ceremony demonstrated
Afreximbank’s deep commitment to the development and revival of the Ivorian economy. He noted that the beneficiaries cut across the key sectors of the Ivorian economy.
Mr. Allou said that Afreximbank deserved commendation for its contribution toward increasing the level of intra-African trade, noting that, largely due to the efforts of the Bank, trade among African countries, as a proportion of their global trade, had risen from 7 per cent a few years ago to 14 per cent today.
He said that because of its activities and active engagement across the continent, the Bank enjoyed the highest regards of the members of the African diplomatic community in Cairo.
Also participating in the visit were Hien Yacouba Sie, Managing Director of Port Autonome Abidjan; Fanny Ibrahima, Chairman of CIDT; Mamadou Coulibaly, Managing Director of CIDT; Camara Lancine, Chairman of SOTRA; Meite Bouake, Managing Director of SOTRA; Simon Doho, Deputy Managing Director of SOTRA; and N’Da Eugene Kassi, Managing Director of BNI.
Manal Mounir Hendy