Africa to Benefit from US$100m in US Export Trade

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The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank) and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) on Wednesday, May 11 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the goal of expanding trade between the U.S. and Africa, UBA-Liberia has announced.

The MOU was signed at the World Economic Forum Africa (WEF) in Kigali by Chairman and President of US EXIM Bank, Fred P. Hochberg, and UBA Group Managing Director and CEO, Phillips Oduoza.

The two were joined by Uzoka Kennedy, Deputy Managing Director and Group Managing Director Designate, UBA and Sola Yomi-Ajayi, Group Head, Financial Institutions and International Organizations, UBA, who all participated in the signing ceremony.

“EXIM Bank is proud to build on its decades long commitment to financing American exports to sub-Saharan Africa,” said Hochberg. “This memorandum signals to American exporters and African businesses alike that there are many more promising opportunities to work together, and EXIM stands ready to provide the financing needed to turn more of those opportunities into realities.”

The MOU is a statement of general intent between EXIM Bank and UBA to promote the availability of EXIM financing of up to $100 million in the region.

EXIM Bank and UBA will work together to share information and develop export-financing opportunities in key sectors including commodities, agriculture and food products, spare parts, and large and small equipment purchases.

Under the MOU, EXIM Bank and UBA will explore options for offering a range of financing solutions for American exporters and African buyers, including short and medium-term financing programs that allow for flexible repayment terms and competitive insurance policies guaranteed by EXIM.

Since 2009, EXIM has provided more than $6 billion in financing for transactions across sub-Saharan Africa. For the fiscal year ending in 2014, the Bank supported $2.05 billion in transactions in more than 20 sub-Saharan African countries.

In 2014, the Bank signed a $100 million MOU with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) to finance U.S. exports to the region that target both Diaspora businesses in the U.S. and PTA Bank’s member states.

UBA is a leading financial services institution in Africa, with business offices in 19 African countries, in addition to offices in the U.S., United Kingdom and France. The multinational Bank provides banking services to over 11 million customers in Africa and around the world.

The EXIM is an independent federal agency that supports and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees and export credit insurance, to promote the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad. Almost ninety percent of its transactions directly serve American small businesses.

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