United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and the world’s largest development financial institution, China Development Bank have signed a $100 million seven-year loan agreement to grow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.
The managing director and chief executive officer of UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka who at the signing ceremony held in Lagos recently described the line of credit as “timely” saying it would complement the recovery of economic activities.
“It will also further encourage African entrepreneurship particularly as the funds will be applied to SMEs, which are important for inclusive growth on the continent.
“We are excited to partner with China Development Bank (CDB), the Development Financial Institution of the Chinese Government, on this historic transaction, as we strongly believe that the facility will serve as a catalyst to the sustainable development of commerce and industry in Africa through provision of critical financial interventions to SMEs across our presence countries,” he added.
He said loan will enhance UBA’s capacity to provide access to finance SMEs across the 19 African countries where it (UBA) currently operates.
Also speaking at the event, chairman of the bank, Mr. Tony Elumelu said the fund will boost SMEs across Africa, noting that CDB’s interest in supporting SMEs aligns with UBA’s vision in growing business across Africa.
“In UBA, CDB would have an enduring partner in reaching out to Africans as UBA provides banking services to over 14 million people across 20 African countries, and like CDB, UBA funds critical infrastructural projects on the continent,” he said.
He added that he would like to see an even stronger relationship between CDB and UBA as well as China and Nigeria.
In his remarks, the president of CDB, Mr. Zheng Zhijie, said the agreement “is the beginning of cooperation between UBA and CDB.”
He said the tie would translate into an enduring business relationship between China and Africa and Nigeria in particular.
“UBA is a leading and dependable bank not only in Nigeria but Africa, and this partnership will help our bank to accelerate its business objectives in Africa, more importantly as we deepen our investment in energy, road and rail construction, infrastructure in Africa,” he added.