Afreximbank, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Arab Bank For Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) launch Collaborative COVID-19 Pandemic Response Facility (“COPREFA”), US$1.5bn Facility to support African Resilience and Recovery amid Global Pandemic

20

COPREFA will be accessed by eligible central banks, commercial banks and businesses to finance the import of medical supplies as well as agricultural equipment

Cairo, Egypt: The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) the pan-African multilateral EXIM bank, partners with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), the Trade Finance Arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group; and the Arab Bank For Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), to launch a US$1.5-billion Collaborative COVID-19 Pandemic Response Facility (“COPREFA”) to support African economies with rapid financial assistance to reduce the impact of COVID-19.

COPREFA will be accessed by eligible central banks, commercial banks and businesses to finance the import of medical supplies, as well as agricultural equipment and fertilizers essential for addressing the pressing food production deficit.

COPREFA is also designed to support African economies to overcome a myriad of challenges, including commodity price shocks, a significant drop in tourism, and disruption to supply chains and export manufacturing. It will also addresse the sudden declines in financial flows, including a drop off in trade and project finance, migrant remittances, portfolio investment and Foreign Direct Investments.

A key attribute of the COPREFA facility is the speed at which financial assistance can be provided through all partners involved. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be fast-paced, requiring support that can be deployed quickly and flexibly to prevent sharp declines in national economies.  Standard eligibility criteria and credit appraisal process have been developed by COPREFA partners in order to facilitate implementation of the facility. Support will be available through direct funding, lines of credit, confirmation and refinancing of documentary credits; guarantees, cross-currency swaps and other similar instruments.

The co-financed facility, led by Afreximbank  leverages strategic partnerships with other Multilateral Financial Institutions and other international financial institutions in co-financing, risk sharing of transactions and promoting integrated trade solutions,  to support African economies on navigating the impact of COVID-19.

Afreximbank has a strong track record of supporting African economies during financial crises. In 2015, the Bank disbursed more than US$10 billion through a Counter-Cyclical Trade Liquidity Facility (COTRALF) to help member countries manage the adverse economic fallout of commodity price shocks. In March 2020, a financial package called the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) was launched solely by Afreximbank to support economies through the pandemic – a facility of which over US$5 billion has been disbursed, will be implemented alongside COPREFA.

Forty four years had elapsed, since the establishment of  BADEA as international development finance institutions (DFIs) with objective of supporting economic, financial and technical cooperation between Arab and African countries through a wide spectra of financing instruments that have been enhanced and diversified to meet the  economic needs of beneficiary countries.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said:

The COVID-19 pandemic has devasted many economies. Africa has not been spared. Afreximbank’s priority has always been to step-up when markets fall. That is why we are supporting African economies forcefully at the time of great difficulties. COPREFA, a product of a unique international partnership, is a major contribution to the global fight against the pandemic and will work alongside our other programs to ensure Africa’s future remains bright beyond this economic shock. We thank our partners for the confidence.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC, said:

Providing fiscal bandwidth and practical support to SMEs and medical communities in African countries will deliver immediate relief from the supply side restraints on personal protective equipment caused by the pandemic. ITFC has worked extensively since the very start of the COVID-19 outbreak to provide comprehensive support to some of the most vulnerable countries. The multilateral arrangement that ITFC is embarking upon with our strategic partners will boost economic activity when and where it is needed most and help many countries maintain food security at a time when global commodity supply chains are being challenged and import activity sharply reduced.

Dr. Sidi Ould TAH, Director General of BADEA, said:

DFI’s as the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), with its partners, have been and will always be; supporting the continent through tough and good times as a reliable, strong  and resourceful financial institution. And since the COVID-19 pandemic posed drastic challenges that are reshaping the scene of the global economy, we sought that it will require an unprecedent cooperation and measures to tackle these challenges.

BADEA has joined the fight against the pandemic by allocating a gross amount of more than USD 350 million in the COPREFA and other initiatives. These allocations will be utilitzed to ease the negative impacts of the pandemic on African economies and ensure the flow of essential strategic commodities to the continent.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

About Afreximbank:
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank was established in October 1993 and owned by African governments, the African Development Bank and other African multilateral financial institutions as well as African and non-African public and private investors. The Bank was established under two constitutive documents, an Agreement signed by member states, which confers on the Bank the status of an international organization, and a Charter signed by all Shareholders, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that are supporting the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby sustaining economic expansion in Africa. At the end of 2019, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at USD$15.5 billion and its shareholders funds amounted to US$2.8 billion. Afreximbank was “African Bank of the Year” in 2019. The Bank disbursed more than US$38 billion between 2016 and 2020. Afreximbank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

About the International Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC):
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$51 billion of financing to OIC member countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for these member countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC member countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in member countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.


About BADEA:
The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa- BADEA is a multilateral development bank owned by eighteen (18) Arab countries, members of the League of Arab States (LAS). The Bank has been operational for the last 45 years with footprints in about 44 countries.

BADEA aims at promoting economic development in Africa and fostering cooperation between the beneficiary countries and the Arab World through investment and trade.  To this end, BADEA’s operations revolve around four strategic pillars :
i) Infrastructure investment in energy;
ii) Private sector and trade financing
iii) Agriculture value-chains; and
iv) Entrepreneurship and SMEs. In addition, capacity development weighs in as a cross cutting pillar.