The African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, and the Anambra State Government have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on state development efforts through the provision of project preparation and advisory services, including a potential debt financing programme of up to US $200 million.
Under the terms of the MOU signed by Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank’s Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, and Prof. Charles Soludo, Governor of Anambra State, during the Anambra Investment Summit, Afreximbank and the state government will jointly prioritize strategic projects for preparation and funding, collaboratively evaluating each project to formulate a time-bound work programme for effective execution.
Afreximbank will work with the state government to establish bankability for key projects, including the Ikenga Mixed-Use Industrial City, the Anambra Export Emporium and the Akwaihedi Unubi Uga Automotive Industrial Park, as well as any other project agreed upon by the parties.
Afreximbank and the Anambra State Government will also conclude all prerequisite actions necessary for securing a financing programme of up to $200 million from Afreximbank and its affiliated entities for the projects contingent upon conclusion of a substantive agreement between the parties.
In addition, the MOU provides for the parties to collaborate on trade and investment promotion in Anambra State through the African Sub-Sovereign Governments Network, AfSNET, and facilitate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The Bank will work with the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency to provide training and capacity building on trade and investment, undertake investment forums, identify, and prepare strategic trade and investment projects and foster collaboration between sub-sovereign governments in Africa.
The AfSNET network is expected to facilitate direct exchange of information and peer learning from sub-sovereign governments in Africa.
Other areas of collaboration covered in the MOU include the provision of transaction advisory services aimed at facilitating the procurement of debt and equity capital. It will also focus on export development advisory, twinning services, and senior debt structuring.
Mrs. Awani, on behalf of His Excellency Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, said that Afreximbank’s mission aligned seamlessly with Anambra’s industrialization objectives, including its vision for a smart mega city, noting that the Bank had identified the emergence of industrial parks and special economic zones as a strategic priority to accelerate Africa’s industrial infrastructural development.
“These facilities do not only optimize capital deployment but also drive economies of scale and nurture ecosystem development. They also enable the use of otherwise inaccessible technologies and cutting-edge infrastructure,” she said.
Noting that such projects required substantial funding, she said that innovative partnerships, including public-private partnerships, had emerged as instrumental bridges capable of closing the infrastructure gap that spanned the African continent, adding that the African private sector held immense potential to bolster a wide spectrum of public sector endeavours.
The Bank, leveraging its fundraising capabilities in Africa’s capital markets, could also raise funds that could be deployed into impactful infrastructure projects in the state using various financing instruments and mechanisms which could be explored with the state government, she added.
Ms. Awani announced that Afreximbank’s broader collaboration with Nigeria had been fruitful over the years and had seen the Bank invest over US$36 billion into the Nigerian economy since its creation in 1993. Afreximbank flagship projects currently underway in Nigeria include the US$300-million 500-bed Africa Medical Centre of Excellence in Abuja in partnership with King’s College, London, the Afreximbank Africa Trade Centre, also in Abuja, and the Africa Quality Assurance Centre in Shagamu, Ogun State, which is already operational.