The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) recently announced that it has extended a USD 25 million term loan facility to Kensington Oval Management Inc. (KOMI), a sports facility in Bridgetown, Barbados. This is ahead of the 2024 Cricket World Cup which is set to take place from June 4th to 30th in Bridgetown.

The term loan facility is backed by a guarantee from the Government of Barbados, given the importance of cricket to the country’s heritage. The Kensington Oval Cricket Ground in Barbados has regularly hosted test matches between January and April this year, with teams drawn from the West Indies, England, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and South Africa.

The loan facility will go towards renovation and refurbishing works; upgrading of the Garfield Sobers Players’ Pavilion; upgrading A/V and electrical systems as well as procurement of temporary stands.

Speaking at the facility signing ceremony, the Chairman of KOMI, Damien Gaskin said, “I would like to thank both Afreximbank for the support and partnership to help with the renovation of the sports complex, and the Government of Barbados under the Ministry of Finance for the provision of an interim bridge loan facility. With the renovated sports facility, we envisage increased utilization of Kensington Oval not only as a destination of choice to host world class events but also as a tourist attraction offering specialty tours leaning on the legacy of this historic venue. This will be a boost to sports and heritage tourism in Barbados.”

On his part, Prof. Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Afreximbank said, “We are delighted to be signing this historic agreement in Ilaro Court, the Residence of the Prime Minister of Barbados, named after a village in Western Nigeria. It is remarkable that we are consummating the first Afreximbank loan transaction in Barbados in this building, where less than 3 years ago, we signed the Memorandum of Understanding that set the stage for the partnership Afreximbank has formed with Caricom member states. With USD 2.4 billion in implementable pipeline deals in the Caribbean, I see this as the first of many deal signings to follow.”