AfreximBank to Invest $1 Billion in Sierra Leone

By Millicent Senava Mannah

AfreximBank Regional Chief Operating Officer Anglophone West Africa, Eric MonchuIntong, has disclosed how they will invest 1Billion dollars to support businesses in the country in order to add to the country’s GDP further clarifying that the support ranges from providing loans and other ways of funding.

He made that statement during the second AfreximBank Sierra Leone Trade Road show held on the 9th & 10th May, 2023 and organized by  Oakwood Green Africa in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, on the theme ‘’ Sustaining the Intra-Africa Trade Drive: Navigating The Last Mile’’ during an auspicious occasion that was held at the New City Council Hall in Freetown.

According to him, this is not a period of lamentation, but a time to take positive strides expressing the view that it gladdens his heart that after sixty two years of independence, Africa now has brains that are thinking of how to address Africa’s problems.

‘’AfreximBank is a Bank that has the vision of Africa at heart. The job we do at AfreximBank is that of a missionary. We are more of a vocation and not profession,’’ he stated.

He asked rhetorically why Sierra Leone, with all its mineral resources, is still called a poor country further maintaining that begging does not bring development saying we need to start now.

He affirmed that their partnership with Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Trade will not only be in good times but also in bad times also revealing how they finance intra-Africa trade and ACFTA implementation, promote and support export manufacturing.

He continued by stating how they also expand and deepen trade finance offerings and maintaining solid profitability equality, capital adequacy and asset quality and how, the Bank makes a meaningful impact on the Africa Trade

According to him, AfreximBank developed the Export Trading Companies (ETCs) Initiative to facilitate the emergence and expansion of ETCs in Africa as part of efforts to increase intra-African trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) and accelerate the industrialization/export development process in the continent.

He also revealed how the ETC Initiative provides a range of financing instruments as well as trade facilitation interventions to support the emergence of new ETCs or expansion of existing ETCs.

The Keynote Speaker, the Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr. Edward Hinga Sandy, who doubles as the Chairman of the programme intimated that the roadshow is geared towards looking at how they can reinforce the private sector in helping them on how to expand their businesses.

He assured them that, they have the full support of the Government, stating how, what they cannot find in the country, the AfreximBank will bring it as they are already supporting a number of businesses in the country.

The Minister disclosed that a number of things are required from the businesses as well furthering that the Private Sector businesses now have the means of contacting support through the aforementioned Bank.

He maintained that it is time for them to reflect on what they can do to make business and transaction optimize their full potentials also revealing how the Africa continent has trade agreements which allow them to trade amongst themselves and how the opportunities are huge.

The Minister intimated that they have created legislations to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive underscoring how the GEWE Bill is also for the private sector to not only bring women onboard Executive tables but also into businesses and how 68% of those engaged in cross border  trade are women.

The Chief Executive Officer of Oakwood Green Africa Limited,  Gabriel Edgal, intimated that they gathered to remind themselves about the power that is in unity disclosing that they were encouraged by the first roadshow and that is why they organized the second one.

He disclosed that they started working with businesses since last year furthering how they will continue to support Africa trade and investment, as they have a collective history of challenges.

‘’The importance of intra-Africa Trade is more important now than ever before. We must achieve this goal by working together,’’ he confidently said.

According to Gabriel Edgal the country is in strategic position to play a major role in the intra-Africa Trade noting that more effort is needed in the Agriculture sector, and how it is a huge sector to invest.

‘’Why are we called the third world when we are the richest? Why it is that trade across borders are difficult? Why is our trade only on importation and not production? Why transportation across African countries is so frustrating?’’ were questions  he asked.

He said those are the questions Oakwood Green Africa and AfreximBank aim to solve and according to him Africa has no business being poor.


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