UBA partners with AfCFTA to provide $6 billion in aid to SMEs in Africa

by MMC
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The agreement signing ceremony

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Africa have every reason to rejoice as the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced an initiative in their favor. The program will provide funds to support and stimulate their activities.

As noted in a recent statement from the bank, the financing initiative would be powered by UBA’s recent partnership with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat to provide financing of up to $6 billion over the next three years to eligible SMEs across Africa. an agreement which was signed on the sidelines of the 30th Annual Meeting of Afreximbank (AAM) held in Accra, Ghana.

Through this initiative, the UBA, according to the statement, would provide SMEs with the opportunity to access financing for small businesses specializing in the key sectors of agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, automotive and transportation and logistic.

Through this agreement, the UBA and the AfCFTA agreed to promote the development of SMEs operating in four sectors under the first phase of the partnership which are largely dependent on imports, by providing technical and financial solutions for intra-African alternatives /national. The economic sectors are agri-food, automotive, pharmaceuticals, transport and logistics.

UBA Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi, who signed the agreement on behalf of the bank, stressed that as Africa’s global bank, UBA was committed to supporting growth and development SMEs across Africa.

“This is in line with our strategic direction for the SME segment to be a catalyst for Africa’s economic development.
“Under this partnership, UBA will go beyond simple financing to provide non-financial services to these SMEs to develop capacity for growth in the 20 African countries in which we operate and build sustainable business practices.
“We will also leverage technology to deliver our financing activities to beneficiaries and this platform provides us with a unique opportunity to drive the continent’s development as Africa’s global bank,” he added.

Alero Ladipo, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, UBA Group, highlighted that the $240,000 financing provided by the bank would be in the form of working capital loans and asset financing loans, with the aim to position businesses for growth and success in an evolving African sector. landscape.

Specifically, she explained that SMEs in the particular sectors of agri-food, automotive, pharmaceutical, transport and logistics could access a working capital loan in the form of overdrafts and short-term loans. term worth up to $120,000 each. the local currency of their country; and an asset financing loan of up to $120,000 in the debtor’s local currency, to be used for the acquisition of operational assets and equipment to meet its business expansion needs.

Ladipo, also stressed that this strategic move aligns with UBA’s vision to be a catalyst for economic development across Africa, as she noted that by empowering SMEs in key sectors, the bank favored job creation, strengthened local production and promoted intra-African development. trade, all of which are key objectives of the AfCFTA agreement.

Apart from financial support, she highlighted the bank’s commitment to providing capacity building opportunities to SMEs, through various training programs and resources, and how UBA aims to equip businesses with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a competitive market environment.

She added: “UBA recognizes the essential role that SMEs play in economic growth and job creation. To facilitate their growth and success. To this end, we are proud to be at the forefront of entrepreneurship development in Africa.

“Our partnership with the AfCFTA and our commitment to SMEs in these critical sectors reflect our commitment to the economic transformation of our continent. We believe that this initiative will not only benefit individual businesses, but will also contribute significantly to the overall development and prosperity of Africa.

UBA is a leading pan-African financial institution, providing banking services to over 37 million customers through 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints in 20 African countries.

With operations in New York, London, Paris, the Cayman Islands and now the United Arab Emirates, UBA connects people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, payments and payment services. innovative cross-border remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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