Zambia to benefit from $80 million financing deal, as UBA, AfCFTA sign agreement


The United Bank for Africa (UBA) has signed an agreement with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to provide financing of up to US$80 million to eligible Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia.

Zambia was allocated US$80 million to provide financing to Zambian SMEs from the US$6 billion three years financing agreement signed between the UBA Group and AfCFTA Secretariat recently.

Announcing the development in Lusaka on Thursday, UBA Country Chief Executive Officer, Chinedu Obeta, said SMEs would have access to an amount of up to US$150,000, Kwacha equivalent.

Obeta stated that the products under the financing agreement included asset finance, working capital finance, facilities such as short term loans and overdrafts.

“It is designed to provide the much needed financing to African and Africa based Small and Medium-scale Enterprises in various sectors including Agro-processing, automotive, pharmaceuticals and transport and logistics,” he stated.

Obeta added that Zambia with its vibrant SME sector, stands to benefit immensely from the initiative.

He indicated that the sectors being targeted in the first phase of the partnership were largely import dependent.

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“By focusing on these sectors, we aim to promote the development of SMEs by providing technical and financing solutions for intra-Africa/domestic alternatives,” Obeta said.

He stated that the initiative aligned with the objectives of the AfCFTA which was to improve access to finance and markets for SMEs, thereby encouraging their growth and contribution to the social-economic development of Africa.

Obeta said in the context of Zambia, the initiative would stimulate economic growth, create jobs and foster innovation.

“By providing much needed financing, we aim to empower Zambian SMEs to compete on a global scale, thereby boosting the Zambian economy as a whole,” he stated.

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