Access Bank in partnership with Export Development in Africa (FEDA) signed a $220 million capital mobilisation deal with Afreximbank for investment in the Caribbean and broadly in the CARICOM financial services sector.
Group managing director, Access Corporation, Herbert Wigwe, disclosed this at the ongoing 2023 AfriCaribbean trade and investment forum in Georgetown, Guyana.
Represented by operations manager, Chima Okafor, during the panel session on, ‘One Year of AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Revival: Lessons from Experience’, he said the signing was to strengthen financial services in the Caribbean region to support economic growth and development initiatives in the region and to establish credit mechanism to facilitate that investment.
“We have great news today, Access Bank and the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) working with Afreximbank will be announcing $220 million in capital mobilisation, which is anchored by Access Bank to invest in the Caribbean or broadly the CARICOM financial services sector.
He said given the multiplier effect of banking capital, the bank will mobilise more than $2 billion in lending opportunities in infrastructure finance, production finance, across the Caribbean.
“Access bank is extremely excited, for today to be the beginning of a journey that we know will yield a lot of good fruit, a lot of good growth, yield a lot of trade and further investment between Africa and the Caribbean. I am looking forward to a journey ahead spearheaded by Access bank,” he said.
He noted that over the last 10 to 15 years there has been a lot of European banks in particular leaving Africa. Earlier this year, Access bank announced the acquisition of five subsidiaries of Standard Chartered Bank as Standard Chartered made a decision to exit these countries for some of the similar reasons probably seen in the Caribbean region.
“I will say speaking to compliance is one of the reasons for many of these international banks leaving the countries,” he said.
Executive vice president, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank, Kanayo Awani, noted from the report of The International Trade Centre (ITC) that exports from Africa is not even 0.1 percent. The report last year said trade between the Caribbean and Africa is also less than one per cent. It is concentrated in minerals and chemicals. In the Caribbean, only two countries dominate the trade currently and that is Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago. There is also the issue of market access cost, she said.