By Adebisi Adeyemi Lagos
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it has signed a $100 million financing agreement with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private sector (ICD) to promote SMEs in Shariah-compliant countries.
A statement by the bank on Wednesday in Lagos said that the facility being provided by ICD was for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in ICD-member countries.
The statement quoted Mr Khaled Al Aboodi, Chief Executive Officer of ICD, as saying that the financing facility was a token in support of private sector businesses in ICD-member countries.
According to Aboodi, the facility is for SMEs in the industrial, communication, technology, healthcare, construction and agricultural sectors.
Mr Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President at Afreximbank, said, “this facility will give a boost to our effort to implement our current strategy which prioritises intra-African trade, intra-African investments and export manufacturing of the labour intensive type.
“It will also promote our knowledge in Islamic finance and provide us with additional manoeuvring capacity in terms of product offerings to our clients.
“We are delighted that ICD has chosen to partner with us in the pursuit of Africa’s trade development.
“ This collaboration will contribute to the objective of fostering sustainable economic growth in the member countries of our two institutions leading to job creation, contribution to export and Islamic finance development, among others.”
ICD is a multilateral organisation and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group.
The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments which are in accordance with the principles of Shari’ah.
ICD also provides advice to governments and private organisations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernisation of private enterprises.
ICD is rated AA/F1+ by Fitch and Aa3/P1 by Moody’s.
Afreximbank, on the other hand, is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.
The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors and non-African investors.
Afreximbank has total assets of $11.7 billion as at Dec. 31, 2016 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s) and BBB- (Fitch).
The bank has its headquarters in Cairo.