UBA To Use $6bn Facility To Finance Agro-Processing SMEs
The United Bank for Africa Plc has disclosed its commitment 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.
This was disclosed in a statement from the lender on Wednesday, UBA’s Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi, during the Africa Day celebration at the just-concluded Lagos International Trade Fair, where it was the headline sponsor.
Akinyemi said, “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."
He also noted 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.
While speaking during the event, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Asiwaju Michael Olawale- Cole, also commended the bank’s consistent participation as a partner and headline sponsor of the LITF for the past six years.
He said, “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."
The president, also acknowledged the bank’s recent $6bn financing partnership it signed with AfCFTA intended to transform Trade and improve SMEs to unprecedented levels across Africa.