Afreximbank boosts Zimbabwe trade with $80 million facility

Afreximbank provides $60 million line of credit and $20 million trade facilitation program to CBZ Bank, supporting Zimbabwean businesses and trade.

In two deals signed at the recently concluded Afreximbank Annual Meetings, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is providing a US$60 million line of credit and a US$20 million Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme (AFTRAF) facility to CBZ Bank Limited, Zimbabwe’s largest bank.

The line of credit facility will strengthen financial intermediaries’ capacity to support SMEs through financing product and capacity building, indirectly support export-oriented Zimbabwean businesses and enable them to generate much-needed foreign exchange, thus easing the pressure on foreign currency in the country. 

The AFTRAF facility will enable CBZ Bank to issue letters of credit confirmed by Afreximbank at a time when such instruments are not readily available due to a shortage of confirming banks.

The US$60 million Line of Credit facility will be used by CBZ Bank to provide financing to local corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – helping to bridge the financing gap facing them at a time when most international banks are limiting their exposure to Zimbabwean banks.

The US$20 million facility, which is under the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme, provides a wide variety of products where the Afreximbank takes on the direct risk of CBZ, as the issuing bank. The programme will increase intra- and extra-African trade for Zimbabwe, through the importation of critical goods, such as fuel, pharmaceuticals and fertiliser, and support exports and imports of vital goods and services to Africa. It will also enable CBZ to increase its trade activities and to expand its correspondent banking relationships.

Haytham El Maayergi, Executive Vice President, Global Trade Bank, Afreximbank

CBZ Group’s strategic plan is to deploy affordable mobile banking solutions and increase its product offerings, create opportunities for direct and indirect employment by financing the importation of raw materials for key industries, and drive financial inclusion in Zimbabwe. Sub-borrowers who are SMEs benefitting from the credit line will also be eligible for non-financial support as provided under the capacity-building pillar of the bank’s Export SME Development Programme.

As a Bank, our core focus remains on sourcing much needed lines of credit to support the productive sectors of our economy and this will also go a long way in easing the liquidity challenges. We have received USD80 million funding from Afreximbank which will be extended to support export growth through trade finance as well as capital expenditure financing.

Mrs. Smangele Mandidi, Acting Managing Director, CBZ Bank

The facility is in accordance with Afreximbank’s mandate of supporting exports of value-added commodities and manufactures of a Member State. Through the facility, there is also strategic fit as the structured nature of the facility supports Afreximbank’s trade finance leadership — one the Bank’s strategic pillars. The facility is consistent with the Bank’s strategy of financing exports which in turn contributes to the foreign exchange earning capacity of a country and increases productivity.

Hosted by the government of the Bahamas, AAM2024, which was combined with the third AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024), was held from 12 June to 15 June.

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