Sunday, November 28, 2021

Nigerian SMEs to benefit from European Investment Bank’s €100 million credit facility to Africa

The credit facility is for private sector entities active in eligible productive sectors, and with fewer than 3,000 employees.

• November 25, 2021
European Investment Bank

Nigerian SMEs are part of business investments to benefit from a €100 million credit facility secured by Ecobank from the European Investment Bank.

This comes as EIB lists West Africa as part of the regions to benefit from the credit facility, which aims to support business investments most hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Thursday, the bank disclosed that the facility will be shared among the West, Central, East and South Africa region through Ecobank and its affiliates for investment projects undertaken by private sector companies.

“The facility is split into three regional facilities: West & Central Africa, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa. Funding will be provided through Ecobank affiliates, for investment projects undertaken by private sector companies,” the investment bank said.

EIB revealed that the agreement was reached when its Vice President, Ambroise Fayolle, and the CEO of the Agence Française de Développement, Koen Doens, visited Togo.

The bank said the facility, which is a long-term credit facility, will span over nine years.

Speaking on the development, Ade Ayeyemi, the CEO of Ecobank Group, said the credit facility will help facilitate the development of SMEs across Africa.

“This informed the credit facility that we have just secured from the EIB which we believe will deliver real impact in our joint mission to develop SMEs across Africa.

“The €100 million facility will support the recovery of African SMEs from the COVID-19 pandemic while also helping to provide them with the impetus to grasp the immense growth opportunities from the African Continental Free Trade Area vast single market.

“We thank the EIB for its focus and commitment to the continent,” Mr Adeyemi said.

On his part, Mr Fayolle said the agreement will help small and medium enterprises to better tackle the challenges triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19.

“This latest cooperation with Ecobank Group will help companies to better tackle challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, unlock economic and social opportunities, especially for SMEs and women-owned and women-run enterprises, across Sub-Saharan Africa in the coming weeks,” Mr Fayolle said.

The EIB made the funds available through its COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility, for private sector entities active in eligible productive sectors, and with fewer than 3,000 employees.

It also disclosed that the loan will be accompanied by technical assistance under the AWRI (African Women Rising Initiative) program of the EIB with gender finance-focused training and capacity building for lending to women entrepreneurs.

This method, the EIB stated, was closely aligned with the Ellevate by Ecobank initiative, which supports women-focused businesses across the African continent.

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