Home » Ade Adeyemi-led Ecobank Group gets $113.2-million loan from EIB to support SMEs in Africa

Ade Adeyemi-led Ecobank Group gets $113.2-million loan from EIB to support SMEs in Africa

by Mfonobong Nsehe

Togo-based pan-African banking conglomerate Ecobank Group has secured a €100-million ($113.2 million) credit facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support businesses in Africa.

The announcement came after EIB Vice President Ambroise Fayolle and his team of experts signed an agreement with the pan-African banking group in Togo, while putting the facility in perspective as funding support for small and medium enterprises.

Ecobank is the leading independent regional banking group in West and Central Africa, serving wholesale and retail customers in 36 African countries.

The pan-African banking conglomerate operates under Cameroon-born businessman Alain Nkontchou and Nigerian banker Ade Adeyemi, the CEO.

The latest cooperation between the bank and the EIB affirms their joint support to boost investments and strengthen economic resilience in the private sector across Africa.

The agreement follows the EIB’s signing of a €12.5-million ($14.15 million) loan to Ecobank Malawi in December 2020 to improve access to financing for SMEs in Malawi’s agricultural sector to modernize their equipment. 

The latest €100-million ($113.2 million) long-term credit facility is divided into three regional facilities — West and Central, East and Southern Africa is set over nine years in term with the EIB.

Ecobank Group CEO Ade Ayeyemi said the group will continue to provide a range of initiatives that support the growth and success of Africa’s SMEs and create employment opportunities.

He added that the fund’s disbursement into businesses will deliver a real impact in the joint mission to develop SMEs across Africa.

“The €100-million ($113.2 million) facility will support the recovery of African SMEs from the COVID-19 pandemic, while also helping to provide them with the impetus to grasp the immense growth opportunities from the African Continental Free Trade Area vast single market,” he said. “We thank the EIB for its focus and commitment to the continent.”

EIB Vice President Ambroise Fayolle said the cooperation with Ecobank Group will help companies tackle challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that the facility will unlock economic and social opportunities, especially for SMEs and women-owned and -run enterprises across Sub-Saharan Africa in the coming weeks.

The EIB is an EU long-term lending institution and the world’s largest international public bank. It provided more than €5 billion ($44.5 million) in 2020 for new investments in Africa in line with its commitment to the continent.

The international lender and Ecobank Group are also working on thee €15-million ($17 million) SME Access to Finance Risk-Sharing Facility Agreement granted by the EU’s European Fund for Sustainable Development to support SMEs worth €95 million ($107.5 million).

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