The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says more than $2 billion deals have been funded by it to facilitate the emergence and expansion of industrial parks, export processing or special economic zones in seven African countries.
These deals have reportedly been funded in Cote d’Ivoire, Malawi, Botswana, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, and Nigeria.
Addressing journalists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, Kanayo Awani, said the bank had facilitated the emergence and expansion of industrial parks, export processing zones on the continent focusing on light manufacturing and agro-processing.
Awani stated that through this initiative, the bank had acted as a catalyst to industrial development in Africa by addressing what she called the “hard” and “soft” infrastructure constraints inhibiting industrialisation and intra-africa trade.
She added that Afreximbank had disbursed over US$700 million to facilitate the development of “inside the fence and outside the fence infrastructure” in industrial parks In Gabon, Benin, and Togo.
Awani noted that the special economic zone the bank was supporting in Gabon was a multi-sectorial industrial park producing high quality wood products, while in Benin it was focused on agro-industry, namely cashew, cotton and other agricultural products.
“The bank is also seeking investments and tenants inside the fence, as well as outside the fence relating to such as development of technical schools, building of health centres, construction of access roads from the industrial parks or export processing zones to the nearest major roads and housing facilities,” she said.
Awani pointed out that Afreximbank hopes to partner with investors in UAE to develop industrial parks in Africa or to invest in existing industrial parks supported by the bank and its partners.
“We at Afreximbank are proud to be contributing to this positive history of African integration and development.
“Afreximbank is at the forefront of supporting African Trade and has developed several financing and facilitation instruments to support trade and investments,” she said.
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