Senior Business Reporter
Minister of Finance and Chairperson of the General Assembly of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Mohamed Maait, said that the bank achieved good financial results throughout the past two years despite global challenges.
Its income increased by 15 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, shareholder participation increased by 17 percent, and the capital of public money also increased to US$2,6 billion to meet the requirements of member states in dealing with global shocks.
This comes as Afreximbank in the year under review signed financing agreements with four Zimbabwean entities for a total of US$188,6 million.
The lender signed with Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company (ZETDC) a US$110,4 million Syndicated Term Loan Facility in November 2021.
In addition, Afreximbank provided the Central African Building Society (CABS) with a US$40 million facility to support its participation in a syndicated facility aimed at improving the supply of electricity in the country through the payment of legacy debt and the importation of prepaid meters.
The third transaction, was a US$28,2 million dual-tranche facility agreed with CBZ Bank to provide much needed offshore foreign currency in Zimbabwe.
The transaction was meant to help finance the import of raw materials for key industries, thereby creating jobs and, in some cases, facilitating export diversification.
ZB Bank also signed a US$10 million term sheet that enabled its participation as one of the syndicated lenders in a facility for the energy sector in Zimbabwe.
By providing adequate financing for power generation and transmission infrastructure, the facility will help companies in Zimbabwe’s mining, manufacturing and industrial sectors to increase their capacity, thereby contributing to exports and GDP, with a knock-on effect on employment levels and foreign exchange generation.
Additionally, at the recent Afreximbank annual meeting, Dr John Mangudya the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said that around US$100 million would be made available through four banks to support the private sector in Zimbabwe by the lender.
Dr Mangudya said these new facilities complement the existing facilities made available by Afreximbank to the country through the central bank two years ago.
Maait pointed out that the Bank also managed to implement the five-year plan from 2017 to 2021, and launch the new strategy from 2022 to 2026. Moreover, the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) was funded.
About US$291,8 million was injected to develop and automate the Bank. This contributes to strengthening governance and achieving the targets.
Chairing the General Assembly of Afreximbank in the new administrative capital, the minister said that the bank was able to present itself as a strong locomotive for construction and development in Africa. He noted that the volume of the bank’s joint cooperation with Egypt amounts to US$6,5 billion in all sectors.
The minister added that the Coronavirus pandemic made the pharmaceutical industry in Africa a top “continental priority”, and that joint cooperation efforts should be maximized to promote investment and inter-trade of pharmaceutical products to limit their import from outside Africa.
This aims to deepen both economic and continental integration to protect African economies from global challenges. Maait also pointed out that many resources in medical tourism outside Africa are wasted even though Egypt and Nigeria possess the ingredients of successful medical tourism.
“These resources can make these countries a destination that African people seek to visit instead of having to travel outside the continent,” he added.
The Minister indicated that Afreximbank has managed to provide facilities to help African countries deal with the economic and health effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, at a value of US$8 billion from March 2020 until now.