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Afreximbank injects US$80 mln to CBZ for trade ,SMEs support

Business Reporter

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed two agreements totaling $80 million with Zimbabwe’s largest bank, CBZ Bank Limited, to boost trade and support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

The deals, announced during the recently concluded Afreximbank Annual Meetings, include a $60 million line of credit and a $20 million Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme (AFTRAF) facility.

Haytham El Maayergi, Executive Vice President of Global Trade Bank at Afreximbank, said, “The $60 million Line of Credit facility will enable CBZ Bank to provide financing to local corporates and SMEs, bridging the financing gap at a time when most international banks are limiting their exposure to Zimbabwean banks.”

The AFTRAF facility will allow CBZ Bank to issue letters of credit confirmed by Afreximbank, facilitating intra- and extra-African trade for Zimbabwe.

This support is crucial for importing essential goods such as fuel, pharmaceuticals, and fertilizers.

Smangele Mandidi, Acting Managing Director of CBZ Bank, expressed optimism about the funding: “This $80 million from Afreximbank will support export growth through trade finance as well as capital expenditure financing, easing the liquidity challenges we face.”

The agreements align with Afreximbank’s mandate to support the export of value-added commodities and manufactured goods of member states.

They are expected to boost Zimbabwe’s foreign exchange earning capacity and contribute to the country’s economic expansion and industrialization.

Afreximbank, a Pan-African multilateral financial institution, has been operating for over 30 years, focusing on financing and facilitating intra- and extra-African trade.

As of December 2023, the bank’s total assets and guarantees exceeded $37.3 billion.

The deals were signed during Afreximbank’s Annual Meetings in The Bahamas, which also hosted the third AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum.

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