Cameroon: IFC to provide trade finance guarantees for businesses
It will provide a facility of up to $15 million to Afriland First Bank.The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed an agreement with Afriland First Bank Cameroon to enable it to expand its trade finance operations and extend more services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other corporate clients in Cameroon.
The scheme, which includes a facility of up to $15 million (€13.6 million), will provide guarantees to local importers and exporters that alleviate trade lines limitations and banking constraints, the IFC said in a statement.
It will also guarantee Afriland's trade-related payment obligations and help it establish partnerships with several major international and regional banks in a bid to broaden access to trade finance for its clients.
In addition, some trade finance training will be provided to enhance the capacity of Afriland's staff and improve operations by consistently aligning policies and procedures with international best practices.
Experts believe a lack of access to affordable trade finance is holding back the economic and employment potential of African countries.
Charles Kapufi, head of trade sales at Stanbic Bank Tanzania, said a great number of jobs could be created if SMEs in Africa could do cross border transactions.
According to estimates from the African Development Bank’s recent report on trade finance in Africa, the value of unmet demand for bank-intermediated trade finance stands between $110 billion and $120 billion.