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
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
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
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
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.