UBA, China development bank partner to finance African SMEs in $100m deal

Ebun Francis || One of Nigeria’s leading banks, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and China Development Bank (CDB) have signed a $100 million seven-year loan agreement to finance the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

The group managing Director of UBA group, Kennedy Uzoka said the $100 million loan is expected to improve UBA’s capacity to provide access to finance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the 19 African countries where it currently operates and also serve as a catalyst to the development of commerce and industry in the continent.

Uzoka said, “We are excited to partner with China Development Bank (CDB), the development financial institution of the Chinese government, on this historic transaction, as we strongly believe that the facility will serve as a catalyst to the sustainable development of commerce and industry in Africa through provision of critical financial interventions to SMEs across our presence countries.”

See also  Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo governors refused to implement N30,000 minimum wage - NLC

He described the line of credit is timely, stating that it should complement the recovery of economic activities and also further encourage African entrepreneurship particularly as the funds will be applied to SMEs, which are important for inclusive growth on the continent.

Also speaking at the at the signing ceremony, chairman of UBA Plc, Tony Elumelu said CDB’s interest in supporting SMEs aligns with UBA’s vision in growing business across Africa.

“In UBA, CDB would have an enduring partner in reaching out to Africans as UBA provides banking services to over 14 million people across 20 African countries, and like CDB, UBA funds critical infrastructural projects on the continent,” Elumelu said.

See also  Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo governors refused to implement N30,000 minimum wage - NLC

On his part, the President of CDB, Zheng Zhijie, said the agreement is the beginning of cooperation between UBA and CDB that would translate into an enduring business relationship between China and Africa and Nigeria in particular.

“UBA is a leading and dependable bank not only in Nigeria but Africa, and this partnership will help our Bank to accelerate its business objectives in Africa, more importantly as we deepen our investment in energy, road and rail constructions, infrastructure in Africa,” Zhije said.