By GLADYS JOHNSON
Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM) released loan to Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) the leading infrastructure development finance institution in Africa. AFC announced its successful acquisition of the loan facility from CEXIM of a US$200m 5-year loan and a US$100m 5-year stand-by facility for general corporate purpose.
The facility from CEXIM marks AFC’s inaugural financing facility from the People’s Republic of China. This follows the Corporation’s strategic focus to build a broad coalition of investors by diversifying its fundraising activities to include all sources of institutional capital in East Asia, in addition to its existing partners in Europe & North America.
Apart from the medium-term liquidity that this proposed facility will provide, it will also provide contingent funding support which is particularly important for liquidity risk management as well as opening up other financing and relationships with Chinese entities both state-owned and private.
It has also been agreed that the signing of the facility agreement shall mark the first step into what will be a long and beneficial relationship with CEXIM, including AFC’s support to CEXIM’s Africa strategy, looking at their portfolio of assets and advising them on how to optimize its loan book on the continent.
Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of AFC noted that in the last two decades, China has grown from a relatively small investor to become one of Africa’s largest trading partner today.
“This facility is therefore not only a milestone for the Corporation and its strategy for the Far East, but also marks a natural evolution in the growing financial sophistication of China in Africa, a necessary development required to accelerate Africa’s journey towards closing the infrastructural deficit.
“Moreover, AFC welcomes CEXIM’s commitment towards its Africa strategy and we look forward to lending our expertise on how best to deliver sustainable infrastructure investment that should catalyze industrial growth on the continent” He concluded.