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Afreximbank, Sterling to Offer Supply Chain Finance in Nigeria

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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has partnered with Sterling Bank to introduce ‘Payables Finance’, a supply chain finance product in Nigeria. This product, branded as ‘Afreximbank Tradelink,’ is one of Afreximbank’s digital offerings under the umbrella of the Africa Trade Gateway (ATG).

ATG provides African corporates and commercial banks with relevant digital tools to access market information, connect with buyers and sellers across the continent for efficient marketing and procurement, facilitate Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, and promote trade payments between African countries in local currencies.

The product enables suppliers to access financing from the banking system by obtaining early payment for invoices which have been approved for payment by their corporate buyers.

The buyers continue to receive trade credit from the suppliers, and the suppliers finance their working capital through the early payment received, enabling them to grow their business.

The financing cost is linked to the credit rating of the corporate buyers, thereby making this product particularly valuable for SME suppliers who may face challenges in accessing bank finance at competitive pricing.

Payables Finance is the fastest growing trade finance product globally and there is an enormous opportunity for African businesses to benefit from it. The partnership with Sterling Bank is a unique arrangement which leverages the complementary strengths of both institutions to provide a comprehensive market-led solution to Nigerian corporates and their suppliers.

Under this arrangement, Afreximbank will provide financing to corporates and banks in both US dollars and euros while Sterling Bank will manage financing in naira.

Suppliers of Nigerian corporates can thus benefit from financing in both local and foreign currency as per their requirements.

Haytham ElMaayergi, Executive Vice President of Afreximbank Global Trade Bank, welcomed the launch as another milestone in realising the Bank’s vision of transforming Africa’s trade.

He said: “Afreximbank identified supply chain finance as a solution for improving access to trade finance in Africa and embarked on a journey to increase penetration through financial intervention and capacity building.

“The Bank’s Factoring Working Group has done extremely well to provide lines of credit to support factoring and has actively promoted factoring across the continent in collaboration with other institutions.” He added that the introduction of Payables Finance is the next step on the Bank’s roadmap for supply chain finance across Africa.

“African businesses now have the opportunity to harness the potential of this product, which has been widely adopted globally, at an accelerated pace by learning from the experiences of other regions and using the latest technologies which have been developed,” he explained.

Commenting on this partnership, Gwen Mwaba, Director & Global Head Trade Finance, Afreximbank said: “The launch in Nigeria is a first step in Afreximbank’s plans to introduce Payables Finance across Africa in partnership with leading African financial institutions.

“The product, which will deploy world class technology and a collaborative delivery model and will contribute towards achievement of the Bank’s strategic objective of reducing the trade finance gap in Africa, particularly for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment.”

Chukwuka Onuaguluchi, Ecosystem Banking Head at Sterling Bank, said: “Sterling Bank is committed to meeting the trade finance needs of Nigerian corporates and their suppliers and we are proud to introduce this much-needed product in partnership with Afreximbank for the benefit of Nigerian businesses.”

Afreximbank provides both US Dollar and Euro financing to businesses in its member countries across Africa and in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member countries. The launch in Nigeria will be followed by similar partnerships in other African countries to expand local currency financing capability across the continent in a phased manner.

Adoption of the product will be supported by capacity building events to increase awareness of supply chain finance and its benefits. The product rollout in Nigeria is complemented by a workshop targeting corporate institutions and banks, in collaboration with Woodhall Capital, a leading finance company in Nigeria.

Underpinning the delivery of these new financial products is a market-leading supply chain finance platform, developed by UK-based fintech Demica, a leader in working capital solutions. Demica works with the world’s leading banks to power their supply chain finance solutions. In 2021, the company established a partnership with Afreximbank to extend this technology to banks across Africa.


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Climate Action Africa Opens Applications for CAAF24 Deal Room

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Climate Action Africa (CAA), a leading advocate for climate resilience and sustainable development, has announced the opening of applications for the Deal Room at the 2024 Climate Action Africa Forum (CAAF24). The Deal Room is a groundbreaking platform that aims to connect high-impact climate innovators in Africa with potential investors seeking to accelerate sustainable solutions.

The CAAF Deal Room is a strategic initiative that aims to create opportunities for innovators in the climate-tech domain focusing on emission reduction, energy, agriculture, transportation, circular economy, and building and construction.

The goal of the Deal Room is to select finalists who will have the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas and solutions at the upcoming 2024 Climate Action Africa Forum, which will be held on June 19th in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Deal Room aims to boost investments in Africa’s green economy by galvanising a community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors to create applicable solutions that can mitigate the challenges of climate change on the African continent.

The Deal Room session will facilitate financing for solutions contributing to the growth and sustainability of Africa’s green economy. These deals may encompass prize money, equity plans, debt financing, mergers and acquisitions, and other investment options.

“Through the CAAF24 Deal Room, we aim to bridge the critical gap between promising climate ventures and the essential resources they need to thrive,” says Grace Oluchi Mbah, Co-founder and Executive Director of Climate Action Africa (CAA). “By facilitating connections between passionate entrepreneurs and dedicated investors, we can collectively unlock the immense potential of climate solutions in Africa.”

The eligibility criteria for applying include:

●     The company must be African-owned and operate in any of the 54 African countries.

●     It must be a for-profit company, between 1-5 years post-incorporation, post-MVP (minimum viable product), and post-GTM (go-to-market).

●     The company should leverage digital technology to deliver its business model.

●     Female ownership is an added advantage.

 Those eligible to apply include venture capitalists, impact investors, climate tech startups, Green SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), philanthropic organisations, and government representatives.

Following the CAAF24 deal-room will be a post-event accelerator in partnership with the Silicon Valley-based Founder Institute and IDEA Africa. This Africa-wide initiative is specifically designed to further accelerate and enhance support for promising Climate Tech startups and founders who participated in the Deal Room.

The official unveiling of this accelerator will take place at the Climate Action Africa Forum 2024 (CAAF24), marking a significant step forward in driving Climate Tech innovations throughout Africa.

Applications for the CAAF24 Deal Room are open from April 22nd until May 17th. Interested applicants can register at https://deal.caaf.africa/register.


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LCCI Urges FG to Simplify Trade Procedures to Boost Economy

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said that the government needs to simplify and harmonize trade procedures and address bottlenecks in order to boost economic growth in the country.

President of LCCI, Mr. Gabriel Idahosa, gave the charge at a Quarterly media briefing on the State of the Economy yesterday in Lagos.

He said that the government has to create an atmosphere that promotes export growth and competitiveness, which is projected to boost export earnings, raise domestic revenue, improve citizens’ welfare, and increase business productivity.

“We recommend that reforms must include simplifying and harmonizing trade procedures as well as addressing bottlenecks such as port logistics, congestion, and transportation costs. This is expected to position the country as the commercial centre of the region and a springboard into regional value chains,” he stated.

On managing the persistent high inflation, the LCCI president said both monetary and fiscal authorities should focus on the factors driving the inflation rates by tackling the supply-side deficiencies instead of focusing too much attention on the demand-side management.

“We urge the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to continue with its foreign exchange (forex) market reforms with intense discipline, as the high exchange rate against the naira is a major driver of the skyrocketing inflation rates.”

Idahosa acknowledged the improvement in the naira exchange rate in the last few days, moving towards the level of N1000 per dollar or lower.

“CBN needs to sustain its policy and regulatory reforms in the FX market, adopt policies that would attract more FX inflow into the economy as well as build market confidence in the performance of the FX market,” he added.

 


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Dufil Takes Donation of Indomie Noodles Cartons to Vulnerable Communities in Abuja and Environ

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In line with its commitment to provide critical support to indigent members of communities around the country in the face of the ongoing economic challenges, Dufil Prima Foods Limited, makers of Indomie Instant Noodles, in partnership with Golan Helps Abuja Food Bank Initiative (GHAFBI) and Meluibe Foundation on Wednesday, April 17 distributed Indomie noodles cartons to vulnerable communities in Kuje and Kubwa Local Government Areas in Abuja.

With the goal of alleviating hunger and supporting communities across Nigeria, Indomie Instant Noodles has committed to donating a substantial quantity of noodle packs to various NGOs working tirelessly to address food insecurity.

These organizations play a crucial role in reaching remote and underserved areas, ensuring that nutritious meals reach those who need them most.

“We are deeply committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we operate,” said Olusola Olayinka Idowu OON, former Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, and the CEO/Founder of GHAFBI.

“At GHAFBI, we believe that everyone deserves access to wholesome and nourishing food. Our partnership with Dufil Prima Foods to donate Indomie Noodles packs is a big step towards addressing food insecurity and supporting vulnerable communities in Abuja”, said Idowu who was also the former National Conveyor, UN Food System Dialogues in Nigeria.

Speaking in the same vein, Obialunanma Nnaobi-Ayodele, Executive Director, The Meluibe Empowerment Foundation, expressed her gratitude to Indomie Noodles for the partnership. “Our vision as an NGO is to change the world one step at a time, by providing relief and support to vulnerable communities.

This is achieved through collaborations and partnerships, one of which is what we have done with Indomie Noodles. We remain grateful for their support through this food relief initiative”, she said.

By partnering with NGOs, Indomie Instant Noodles works closely with local leaders and community heads in directly engaging with rural communities to distribute noodle packs and provide immediate relief to families facing hunger and ensuring that food assistance reaches those who are most in need, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with NGOs and community leaders to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people facing food insecurity”, said Temitope Ashiwaju, Group Corporate Communications and Events Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Limited. “Together, we bring hope, love and relief for all”.

The community leaders and some of the beneficiaries also expressed their immense gratitude to Indomie for the support, stressing the impact the products donated will have in alleviating hunger in their communities.

Speaking at the outreach centre, His Royal Highness, Muhammed D. Jibril, Community Leader of Gbazango Community in Kubwa Local Government Area said: “I am very grateful to Indomie Noodles for coming to our aid in these challenging times. I pray for more expansion and growth for the business and may God bless Indomie Noodles”.

Other communities who benefited from the product donations include Wunmi, Tondo, Godoji and Shazhi communities in Kuje Area Council of Abuja.

Dufil Prima Food’s donation of Indomie Noodle packs underscores its commitment to corporate social responsibility and its dedication to supporting communities in need. By providing essential food relief, Dufil Prima Foods is contributing to the well-being and resilience of vulnerable populations in Nigeria.

Indomie Instant Noodles remains dedicated to bringing joy to mealtimes and making a positive impact in communities around the world.


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