EIB and UBA to support small businesses across Africa

9-11-2012 — /europawire.eu/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB), Europe’s long-term lending institution, and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, a leading Pan-African financial institution with presence in 19 African countries, have agreed to strengthen small and medium businesses in Africa through a EUR 50 million regional funding initiative.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting the private sector in Africa. This significant partnership between UBA and the European Investment Bank will benefit small businesses seeking to expand and contribute to strengthening of the financial sector in 16 African countries. The ability to access harmonized financial services across borders will also encourage greater regional economic integration on the continent.” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President, responsible for lending operations in sub-Saharan Africa.

”Our expansion across Africa in the last five years has been driven by our commitment to fostering economic integration on the continent and supporting the development of African businesses. The partnership with EIB provides us with an additional source of medium to long term funding and will enhance financial intermediation in key sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, transport, energy, health, education and, other sectors where long term funding is required” said Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director and CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc.

The EIB loan will be used by UBA for on-lending to eligible customers in its countries of operation. The initiative will assist UBA to strengthen its African regional network and represents the first time that the EIB has provided such facility to a Nigerian Bank for on-lending to small and medium sized businesses across borders.

In addition to directly helping African entrepreneurs seeking to expand their businesses through lower cost funding, this initiative will further support the development of the financial sector and establishment of best practices in key countries where UBA operates.

The initiative will target at private sector enterprises, including small businesses in post-conflict countries such as Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast and will also be used for expanding and strengthening the under-developed financial sectors of Benin, Chad, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting private sector investment and addressing investment gaps that hinder small business financing in Africa. Over the last five years the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR one billion for on-lending to small investment projects in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific regions.

About EIB:

The European Investment Bank recognizes the need to help the banking sector across Africa overcome effects of the global financial crisis and ensure sustainable development of small and medium sized business in the region.

Over the last 5 years, the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 1 billion to support SME and specialist lending through local financial intermediaries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific.

About UBA Plc:

United Bank for Africa Plc is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions offering financial solutions to more than 7.5 million customers. With presence in 19 African countries, 3 global financial centers-New York, London and Paris, UBA is committed to providing financial inclusion in its presence countries, providing innovative banking services, promoting trade and investment, infrastructure and people development across the African continent.


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