International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) Extends €20 Million to Burkina Faso’s Coris Bank International as Part of ITFC’s Flagship West Africa SME Development Program

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This Murabaha financing agreement is aimed at improving access to trade lines of finance for the private sector of Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-idb.org), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, continues its ongoing commitment to strengthen private sector development in Burkina Faso through its latest Murabaha financing agreement with Coris Bank International (CBI). The Euro 20 million agreement is part of the West Africa SMEs Program, a flagship program of ITFC aimed at improving access to finance for SMEs in the region by providing them, as well as partner banks, with credit and capacity building facilities.

It is estimated that SMEs represent 90% of businesses and provide 80% of private sector jobs in West Africa. However, they often struggle to convince financial institutions of the creditworthiness of their businesses and financing requests. ITFC’s West Africa SMEs Program enables entrepreneurs in the region to strengthen business viability by accessing capacity development training in the crucial areas of accounting and finance, business plan development, and management best practices amongst others. In tandem, it deploys assistance to banks to strengthen SME lending practices and modernize assessment tools and lending processes. The program is focused on the West African Economic & Monetary Union (WAEMU) zone, which in addition to Burkina Faso includes Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

ITFC’s CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, reiterated the importance of the private sector in the Corporation’s overall trade finance and development focus for the region, commenting: “The private sector is the key to socio-economic transformation, and is at the heart of ITFC’s strategy for the development of member countries. In Burkina Faso, where the initial pilot initiative was rolled out in 2018, the West Africa SMEs Program has already proven to be beneficial in reducing the trade finance gap for local businesses by enhancing entrepreneurial capacity and increasing their business viability. This latest financing will further boost the nation’s efforts to diversify its economy and strengthen private sector growth.”

Commenting of the latest financing agreement, Mr. Diakarya Ouattara, Managing Director of Coris Bank International said: “CBI has been a key partner in the implementation of the West Africa SME Program since it was piloted in Burkina Faso. The program has benefitted local SMEs to build capacity and at the same time enabled CBI to strengthen our SME lending practices. The result is the development of a stronger SME sector, which is fundamental to the economic future of the country.”

This latest agreement marks the fifth of its kind between ITFC and CBI for a total of more than US$62 million, which in addition to driving private sector development also serves to promote Islamic finance in the West African region.

In 2018, ITFC and the Government of Burkina Faso signed a five-year US$1.5 billion framework agreement to drive trade development in the country. Since 2008, ITFC has approved a total of US$2 billion in trade financing towards the country.

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 US$55 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.