Thursday, 8 June 2017

Afreximbank and Development Bank of Belarus Agree $150-Million facility for Belarus-Africa Trade

Afreximbank President Dr. Benedict Oramah (left) and Sergei Roumas, Chairman, Development Bank of Belarus, sign the credit facility agreement in Minsk.

Minsk – Development Bank of Belarus today in Minsk signed an agreement to provide a $150 million credit facility to the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) for the financing of the acquisition of goods from Belarus by African entities.
The agreement, signed during the closing ceremony of the Belarus-Africa Forum, provides for the credit facility to be granted as a lump sum or a non-revolving credit line based on individual loan agreements.
It provides that the export credit facilities under each Individual loan agreement should not be less than $1 million and was signed by Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, and Sergei Roumas, Chairman of the Board of the Development Bank of Belarus, on behalf of their respective institutions.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Dr. Oramah said that the facility represented the first tranche of an $800 million facility outlined in a memorandum of understanding for the financing and promotion of trade between African countries and Belarus signed between the two institutions in 2016.

He added that Afreximbank’s target was to raise the value of trade between Africa and Belarus to $3 billion by 2020, saying that Africa was on a drive for massive investments that would lead to an economic turnaround in the next few years.
“Africa is in a hurry to begin diversifying away from commodities to value added products,” he said, adding that Belarus could be the continent’s partner in that drive and that the required technology could come from Belarus.
According to, Dr. Oramah, goods partially processed in Africa could be finished in Belarus for sale in the Eurasian market and Belarusian equipment could be assembled in an African country and sold across the continent.
Also speaking, Mr. Roumas said that the signing of the agreement was a first step in a mutually beneficial cooperation arrangement between the two banks, adding that the Development Bank of Belarus saw Afreximbank as a reliable partner for its operations in Africa.
Earlier, in a presentation, Dr. Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist of Afreximbank, said that Belarus’ partnership with Africa was about the only one that could ensure the country’s sustained economic growth as Africa remained one of the fastest growing regions in the world, with growth prospects likely to be sustained by population growth and successful demographic transition.
According to Dr. Fofack, opportunities for trade between the two parties are infinite and Belarus has what Africa needs to accelerate its process of structural transformation and integration into the global economy.
In another presentation, Dr. Robert Ochola, Director of Strategy and Innovation of Afreximbank, said that the scope of engagement of the Belarus-Africa partnership needed to be broadened to include enhanced technology transfer and technological learning between the two partners.
It should also explore country and regional development priorities, including regional infrastructure development, he added.
The Belarus-Africa Forum, which opened on Tuesday, also featured a ministerial panel discussion, a panel discussion by some participating business people and presentations on business opportunities in Africa and in Belarus. Participants also undertook a tour of several manufacturing plants around Minsk to see equipment manufactured in Belarus.
The Forum was attended by about 100 African business leaders and ministers who were joined by counterparts from Belarus. It was organized by Afreximbank and the Development Bank of Belarus, in collaboration with the Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the support of the Belarus Ministry of Agriculture. It was held to coincide with Belagro, the Belarus agricultural exhibition, also taking place in Minsk.



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