Funding

UBA approves $6bn to boost SMEs in Africa

UBA promotes female entrepreneurship

United Bank of Africa (UBA) has launched a $6 billion financing initiative aimed at boosting the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) throughout Africa.

This initiative is designed to provide funding access to SMEs in the Agro-processing, Pharmaceuticals, Automotive, Transport, and Logistics sectors, facilitating their expansion.

UBA has joined forces with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat to launch the financing initiative.

This initiative aims to deliver $6 billion in funding to eligible SMEs throughout Africa within the next three years

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meeting (AAM) held in Accra, Ghana.

By the agreement, UBA and AfCFTA will, under the first phase of the partnership, promote the development of SMEs by providing technical and financing solutions for intra-African/domestic alternatives.

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UBA’s Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi, who represented the bank during the signing, emphasized UBA’s dedication to bolstering the progress of SMEs throughout Africa, underscoring its status as the continent’s global bank.

  • “This is in line with our strategic focus on the SME segment being a catalyst for the economic development of Africa,” he said.

Muyiwa further said,

  • “Under this partnership, UBA will go beyond just financing to provide non-financial services to these SMEs to develop the capacity for growth across the 20 African countries that we are present and build sustainable business practices.
  • We shall also be leveraging technology to deliver our financing activities to the beneficiaries and this platform provides us with a unique opportunity to stimulate the development of the continent as Africa’s Global Bank.

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In addition, Alero Ladipo, UBA’s Group Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, underscored the bank’s commitment to offering $240,000 in financing.

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This support will be extended through a mix of working capital loans and asset finance loans, with the ultimate goal of positioning these enterprises for success in Africa’s evolving business landscape.

She explained that the SMEs in the particular sectors of Agro-processing, Automotive, pharmaceuticals, Transport, and Logistics, will be able to access a working Capital Loan by way of Overdrafts and Short-Term Loans with a maximum value of $120,000 in each of their country’s local currency; and asset Finance Loan of up to $120,000 in the local currency of the obligor, to use for the acquisition of operational assets and equipment to meet their business expansion needs.

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Apart from financial assistance, she stressed the bank’s dedication to empowering SMEs by offering a range of training initiatives and valuable resources.

UBA’s goal is to equip these businesses with the expertise and capabilities required to excel in a fiercely competitive market.

She said,

  • “UBA recognizes the critical role that SMEs play in driving economic growth and job creation. To facilitate their growth and success.
  • To this end, We are proud to be at the forefront of driving entrepreneurship in Africa. Our partnership with AfCFTA and our commitment to SMEs in these critical sectors reflect our dedication to the economic transformation of our continent.
  • We believe that this initiative will not only benefit individual businesses but will also contribute significantly to the overall development and prosperity of Africa.”

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