The United Bank for Africa Plc has disclosed its plan to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in four sectors including Agro-processing, Automotive, pharmaceuticals, Transport and Logistics with the $6 billion facility from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat.
According to a statement from the lender on Wednesday, UBA’s Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi said this during the Africa Day celebration at the just-concluded Lagos International Trade Fair, where it was the headline sponsor.
Akinyemi explained that the bank’s dedication to SMEs across Africa informed its recent agreement with the AfCFTA Secretariat, to provide financing for up to $6 billion over the next three years to eligible businesses across the continent.
“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,” Akinyemi stated.
Also speaking during the event, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Asiwaju Michael Olawale-Cole, appreciated the bank’s consistent participation as a partner and headline sponsor of the LITF for the past six years.
"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,” he said.