By Peter Egwuatu
Export Development Canada (EDC) has announced that it has provided a USD 30 million five-year line of credit to the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the proceeds of which will be used to provide financing to African companies procuring Canadian goods or services.
According to a statement made available to Vanguard, Stephen Poloz, President and CEO, EDC, and Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Afreximbank, signed the agreement for the line of credit at a ceremony inCape Town,South Africaon Wednesday.
“Afreximbank’s business interests align very well with those of EDC, particularly Afreximbank’s focus on the private sector and creating trade opportunities. While the line of credit is intended to facilitate business in all sectors, we see significant opportunities in ICT and extractive already developing,” said Mr. Poloz.
“Adding financial capacity for African-Canadian trade across 33 African countries through Afreximbank meshes very well with EDC’s partnership preferred philosophy,” the statement noted.
“This facility provides an opportunity for us to promote trade flow between Africa andCanadaas well as deepen the business relationship between Afreximbank and EDC,” said Mr. Ekra. “The goods and services that are expected to be imported intoAfricaunder the facility will serve to boost export diversification and enhance the economic growth and development of the continent.”
According to the President, Afreximbank plans to use the facility for medium term financing to support purchases of Canadian goods and services from a broad range of sectors, including mining, telecommunications, transportation, manufacturing, energy and agro-industry.
In 2011, 457 Canadian companies used EDC’s products or services to undertake CAD 2.4 billion in export business in 46 African countries.