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$6bn facility: UBA to finance agro-processing SMEs


United Bank for Africa Plc

The United Bank for Africa Plc has said that it is looking to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in four sectors including Agro-processing, Automotive, pharmaceuticals, Transport and Logistics with the $6bn facility from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat.

According to a statement from the lender on Wednesday, UBA’s Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi, said this during the Africa Day celebration at the just-concluded Lagos International Trade Fair, where it was the headline sponsor.

Akinyemi explained that the bank’s dedication to SMEs across Africa informed its recent agreement with the AfCFTA Secretariat, to provide financing for up to $6bn over the next three years to eligible businesses across the continent.

“We signed the agreement with AfCFTA on the sidelines of the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meeting which was held in Accra, Ghana. By this agreement, both parties are to promote the development of SMEs operating in Four sectors under the 1st phase of the partnership which are largely import dependent by providing technical and financing solutions for intra-African/domestic alternatives. These economic sectors are Agro-processing, Automotive, pharmaceuticals, Transport and Logistics.

“One of the key initiatives of the AfCFTA is to improve access to finance and markets for SMEs to encourage their growth and contribution to the socio-economic development of Africa. UBA remains committed to supporting the growth/development of SMEs across Africa. This is in line with our strategic focus on the SME segment being a catalyst to the economic development of Africa,” Akinyemi stated.

The DMD added that based on the partnership, UBA will provide both financial and non-financial services to SMEs to develop the capacity for growth across the 20 African countries, where it operates.

Also speaking during the event, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Asiwaju Michael Olawale- Cole, appreciated the bank’s consistent participation as a partner and headline sponsor of the LITF for the past six years.

“Partnering with UBA is significant because it is an organisation that has its footprint in 20 countries and that is a big feat, as partners we think alike and work together,” he said.

The president , who acknowledged the bank’s unequalled support rendered to SMEs through its enormous window of opportunities, also commended the recent $6bn financing partnership it signed with AfCFTA intended to transform Trade and boost SMEs to unprecedented levels across Africa.

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