At the 37th Lagos International Trade Fair’s Africa Day celebration, United Bank for Africa (UBA) reiterated its dedication to fostering intra-African trade for self-sufficiency and economic growth.
Muyiwa Akinyemi, UBA’s Deputy Managing Director, emphasized the significance of Africa’s intentional pursuit of economic liberation. He highlighted UBA’s recent pact with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, committing up to $6 billion over the next three years to eligible businesses across Africa.
Akinyemi revealed that the agreement signed on the sidelines of the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meeting in Accra, Ghana, aims to support SMEs in four import-dependent sectors: Agro-processing, Automotive, Pharmaceuticals, and Transport and Logistics. The collaboration aims to provide financial and technical solutions to promote intra-African/domestic alternatives within these sectors.
He stressed that enhancing access to finance and markets for SMEs is a key objective of AfCFTA, aligning with UBA’s strategic focus on SMEs as a catalyst for Africa’s economic development. He also highlighted UBA’s commitment to offering non-financial services, capacity development, and leveraging technology to facilitate financing across the 20 African countries where UBA operates.
Asiwaju (Dr) Michael Olawale-Cole, President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce, expressed gratitude for UBA’s consistent partnership and headline sponsorship of the Lagos International Trade Fair over six years. He commended UBA’s extensive footprint across 20 countries, acknowledging the bank’s support for SMEs through various opportunities.
The president applauded UBA’s recent $6 billion financing agreement with AfCFTA, envisioning its transformative impact on trade and SMEs, fostering unprecedented growth across Africa.