Home » Ethiopian banker Dereje Zebene-led Zemen Bank secures $30-million facility from IFC

Ethiopian banker Dereje Zebene-led Zemen Bank secures $30-million facility from IFC

Zemen Bank partners with IFC to boost trade finance and SME support

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Dereje Zebene

Zemen Bank, a prominent financial institution in Ethiopia, led by esteemed banker and business executive Dereje Zebene, has garnered a significant boost with a $30-million trade finance facility guarantee from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

This partnership between Zemen Bank and IFC aims to invigorate economic growth and facilitate international trade, particularly focusing on enhancing Zemen Bank’s trade finance operations to foster the development of new trade partnerships for businesses in Ethiopia.

Dereje Zebene, the CEO of Zemen Bank, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “Zemen Bank has been taking different impactful initiatives since its establishment, such as this one, aimed at facilitating the financing of vital trade in goods and fostering the establishment of new trading alliances for Ethiopia.”

He added: “Concurrently, the program will significantly boost trade finance for numerous import-export enterprises, particularly during periods of global economic volatility.”

Zemen Bank partners with IFC to boost trade finance and SME support

The agreement between IFC and Zemen Bank signifies a shared commitment to address the challenges faced by businesses engaged in cross-border trade. Leveraging their respective expertise, the organizations aim to enhance access to finance, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), crucial for driving economic development.

IFC’s trade financing initiative is part of its $1 billion Africa Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program (ATRI), designed to support Africa’s regional trade development and reduce the continent’s reliance on imports.

In addition to the trade finance facility, IFC will complement its support with an advisory services project aimed at boosting Zemen Bank’s credit and risk management capabilities and facilitating SME lending.

Dereje Zebene: A pioneer in Ethiopian finance, shaping Zemen Bank’s success story

Zemen Bank, established in 2008, has emerged as a key player in Ethiopia’s financial services industry under the leadership of Dereje Zebene, who brings over 20 years of extensive banking experience to the role.

Prior to his tenure at Zemen Bank, Zebene held various managerial positions at Awash Bank and served in capacities at Commerzbank A.G Representative Office for Ethiopia and East Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Bank of Ethiopia, and Wegagen Bank.

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