Georgetown, Guyana – 31 October 2023: – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) today in Georgetown, Guyana, entered into an agreement to provide a US$30-million term loan facility to the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) to bolster its trade finance operations and provide essential support to indigenous business organizations in The Bahamas.
The facility to support the recapitalization of BDB was signed by Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank, and Nicholas Higgs, Managing Director of BDB. The signing took place on the sidelines of the final day of the Second AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2023). The loan facility will be in place for seven years.
Following the signing, Executive Vice President Awani said that the facility to BDB was aligned with the Bank’s commitment to support the economic development of Africa and its Diaspora.
“By recapitalizing the Bahamas Development Bank and focusing on trade finance and SME support, we’re not just investing in financial resources, but in the prosperity, resilience and growth of the nation of The Bahamas,” she said. “This initiative underscores Afreximbank’s commitment to empowering businesses, stimulating trade and driving economic sustainability in The Bahamas.”
Mrs. Awani emphasized the importance of BDB in facilitating trade finance activities, which are crucial for both domestic and international trade. She added that the facility would enhance trade and commerce, ultimately leading to economic prosperity in The Bahamas, and described the recapitalization as a pivotal step in ensuring that BDB remained a robust and effective financial institution.
Nicholas Higgs, BDB’s Managing Director, stated, “The signing of this term sheet represents the realization of a vision set forth by Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Philip Davis, with support from Bahamas Development Bank Chairman, Senator Quinton C. Lightbourne. This loan underscores the administration’s steadfast commitment to building meaningful international partnerships and driving micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise development across all islands of The Bahamas.
We appreciate that Afreximbank aligns with our mandate as a national development bank, and we extend our sincere thanks for their support, which will be reflected through various industries on multiple islands for the benefit of all Bahamians”.
Under the terms of the loan contract, which will be finalized with the Bahamian Ministry of Finance, BDB will direct the facility toward providing improved access to trade finance solutions to Bahamian businesses exporting to, or importing from, other Caribbean countries.
By directing financial resources toward indigenous corporates in such key sectors as tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and services, the facility would stimulate entrepreneurship, create employment opportunities, and foster innovation.
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About the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum
The idea for ACTIF2022 resulted from an official Afreximbank visit to Barbados in September 2021, which followed that month’s inaugural Africa/CARICOM Summit. During the visit, the Government of Barbados and Afreximbank identified the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum as a key strategic activity towards institutionalising the engagement between both regions’ private sectors to advance trade and investment relations. The inaugural edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum was held in Bridgetown, Barbados, from 1 to 3 September 2022, and the second edition is being held in Georgetown, Guyana, from 30 – 31 October 2023.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2022, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$31 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.2 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$86 billion between 2016 and 2022. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”).