The Ecobank Group has signed an agreement for a Ksh. 12 Billion (€100 million) long-term credit facility with the European Investment Bank (EIB) over 9 years.

The facility affirms the firms’ targeted support for business investment across Africa, with particular support for the sectors most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement to support private sector investment across Africa was formally agreed at the EU Delegation to Togo in the presence of Koen Doens, Director General for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission.

The announcement was made during a Team Europe visit to Togo by EIB Vice President Ambroise Fayolle, Rémy Rioux, CEO of the Agence Française de Développement and Koen Doens.

The facility is split into the West and Central Africa, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa. Funding will be provided through Ecobank affiliates, for investment projects undertaken by private sector companies. The EIB made the facility available through its COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility for private sector entities active in eligible productive sectors, with fewer than 3,000 employees.

The EIB loan will also be accompanied by technical assistance under the African Women Rising Initiative (AWRI) program of the EIB with gender finance focused training and capacity building. This training will focus on lending to women entrepreneurs, closely aligned with the Ellevate by Ecobank initiative which supports women-focused businesses across the continent.

Ecobank Group and EIB both recognize the importance of ensuring access to finance by female-owned and female-focused businesses, in particular during times of economic and investment uncertainty related to COVID-19. Ecobank Group and EIB are also working on a Ksh. 1.9 billion (€15 million) SME Access to Finance Risk Sharing Facility Agreement granted by the EU’s European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), that will support loans to SMEs.

Speaking on the partnership, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO Ecobank Group said, “At Ecobank we are fully committed to providing a range of initiatives that support the growth and success of Africa’s Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and create employment opportunities. This informed the credit facility that we have just secured from the EIB which we believe will deliver real impact in our joint mission to develop SMEs across Africa.”