July 21, 2024
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Ghana seeks $1.7bn from AFREXIM Bank for SMEs and infrastructure projects

Ghana aims to secure $1.7 billion in loans and other support from the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM) before the end of the year.

These funds will be directed towards programmes supporting Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and ongoing infrastructure projects in the country.

Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Abena Osei Asare, disclosed this to JoyBusiness during the AFREXIM Annual Meetings and Africaribbean Trade and Investment Forum in Nassau, Bahamas.

She noted that the government is exploring innovative ways to support SMEs, and this funding will help address the challenges facing small businesses in Ghana.

She added, “The President will next month launch the SME Growth and Opportunity Fund, and this support, if we can finalise it at this meeting, will help a lot going forward and the larger economy.”

The Minister also revealed that the government plans to use some of this support to finance infrastructure projects in the country.

“The government wants to assist SMEs in several sectors, and meetings like the AFREXIM Bank Annual Gathering offer us an opportunity to engage with other multilateral institutions and development partners,” she added.

Ghana and AFREXIM Bank Partnership

The African Export-Import Bank has played a significant role in supporting Ghana’s economy, especially in recent times.

In 2022, the Bank provided $750 million to Ghana to finance capital growth-related expenditures.

This support came at a critical time when Ghana was struggling to secure funding from the international capital market and donors following an announcement of debt restructuring with bilateral creditors and commercial bondholders.

This funding was crucial in slowing the rate of depreciation in the second half of 2022.

In the banking sector, AFREXIM has facilitated Foreign Exchange Swap Arrangements with banks in Ghana and provided foreign exchange liquidity for Ghana’s international trade.

Minister Abena Osei Asare emphasised that Ghana is committed to working closely with AFREXIM Bank to aid in the country’s economic recovery by providing necessary funding and technical support.

Ghana currently chairs the Shareholders and Advisory Group, and the Minister of State at the Finance Ministry will chair the shareholders’ meeting at the Annual Meetings on June 15, 2024.

Ghana is a founding member of AFREXIM Bank and holds 3,645 Class “A” shares, representing 2.41% of the Bank’s total shareholding through the Bank of Ghana.

AFREXIM Bank’s Support for Ghanaian Firms

AFREXIM Bank has signed a $50 million loan deal with Prime Meridian Docks on the sidelines of the AFREXIM Bank Annual Meetings in Nassau, Bahamas.

Managing Director of Prime Meridian Docks, Stanley Ahorlu, signed on behalf of the company, with President Akufo-Addo witnessing the signing at the Convention Center in Nassau.

The funding will support Prime Meridian Docks Ghana Limited in building and operating a world-class ship repair and maintenance facility in the port of Takoradi, under a 25-year concession granted by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

The ship repair facility is expected to create over 500 new jobs and positively impact regional maritime economies.

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