The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is set to arrange $700 million multi-sourced finance to support trade and related infrastructure projects in Mali, focusing mainly on transport logistics, tourism, agro-processing and the financial sector.
This is indicated by Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of the Bank, announced in Bamako on Thursday. Dr. Oramah, who was speaking after a meeting with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali, said that the support would target activities aimed at increasing the country’s industrial capacity in cotton processing and at developing the transport and hotel infrastructure.
“We have identified a number of projects to support Mali’s economic development, said Dr Oramah. Those included “the financing of an industrial park along the border with Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire; the development of the country’s aviation sector; the construction of cross-border railway infrastructure; and financial support to the local banking industry”.
“These key initiatives align with Afreximbank’s strategy to promote intra-African trade and the industrialisation of the continent,” he stated, adding that the Bank would deploy its Food Emergency Contingent Trade Financing Facility in the country to enable Mali mitigate and efficiently manage vulnerability to drought by substituting physical food reserves with readily available financing to import equivalent volumes of food in case of an emergency.
Earlier, President Keita commended Afreximbank for its support in financing Mali’s economy and gave assurance of the country’s commitment to facilitating the Bank’s future endeavors in the country.
“As a landlocked country with over 1.2 million square kilometres of land, Mali requires robust cross-border transport linkages,” he stated, adding that the country’s development relied strongly on regionally integrated projects where efforts could be combined to maximise returns.
The new projects and initiatives to be supported by Afreximbank will complement the Bank’s already strong support to the tourism and hospitality sector, which include the financing of the Radisson Hotel and of the Sheraton Hotel, which is set to open in May.