Monday, October 08, 2018
07.52AM / The Nation
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, at the weekend announced two major initiatives aimed at deepening economic growth across the West African sub-region.
The initiatives were announced during a special event sponsored by ITFC at the 5th edition of the two-day Rebranding Africa Forum (RAF) held in Burkina Faso at the weekend. The high-level event was attended by several African Heads of States as well as Ministers and dignitaries from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region including the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Ghana, Nana Addo Akufo-Addo, and the Minister of Economy, Finance and Development of Burkina Faso, Hadizatou Coulibaly Sori among others.
The ITFC signed a $1.5 billion framework agreement with the Government of Burkina Faso under which ITFC will contribute to mobilising financial resources to finance the export of agricultural commodities such as cotton and the import of agricultural inputs and foodstuff, as well as energy commodities such as crude oil and refined petroleum products.
Also, ITFC will also finance the extension of lines of financing to local banks to support local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the implementation of capacity building programmes for the strategic sectors of the national economy.
ITFC also launched its West Africa SMEs Programme which is aimed at improving access to trade finance for SMEs in eight West African countries. The programme has been designed to bridge the substantial trade finance gap at the SME level within the region by providing financing lines, capacity building and advisory services to partner banks and SMEs in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) nations, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.