THE Afreximbank, a Pan-African multilateral trade finance institution has partnered International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Arab Bank For Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) launched the Collaborative COVID-19 Pandemic Response Facility (“COPREFA”), US$1.5bn Facility to support African Resilience and Recovery amid Global Pandemic.

In a press statement released by APO, the facility will be able to help African countries reduce the impact of Covid-19.

“The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) the pan-African multilateral EXIM bank, partners with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), the Trade Finance Arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group; and the Arab Bank For Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) (to launch a US$1.5-billion Collaborative COVID-19 Pandemic Response Facility (“COPREFA”) to support African economies with rapid financial assistance to reduce the impact of COVID-19,”it says.

The facility will be accessed by eligible central banks, commercial banks and businesses to finance the import of medical supplies, as well as agricultural equipment and fertilizers essential for addressing the pressing food production deficit .

It has an advantage that it has no redtape as it designed to speedily cushion African economies from the adverse effects of Covid-19.

“A key attribute of the COPREFA facility is the speed at which financial assistance can be provided through all partners involved.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be fast-paced, requiring support that can be deployed quickly and flexibly to prevent sharp declines in national economies. Standard eligibility criteria and credit appraisal process have been developed by COPREFA partners in order to facilitate implementation of the facility.

Support will be available through direct funding, lines of credit, confirmation and refinancing of documentary credits; guarantees, cross-currency swaps and other similar instruments,”the statement adds.

Speaking on the launch of the facility, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has devasted many economies. Africa has not been spared. Afreximbank’s priority has always been to step-up when markets fall. That is why we are supporting African economies forcefully at the time of great difficulties. COPREFA, a product of a unique international partnership, is a major contribution to the global fight against the pandemic and will work alongside our other programs to ensure Africa’s future remains bright beyond this economic shock. We thank our partners for the confidence.”

According to Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC,’providing fiscal bandwidth and practical support to SMEs and medical communities in African countries will deliver immediate relief from the supply side restraints on personal protective equipment caused by the pandemic’.

The Director General of BADEA,Dr. Sidi Ould TAH,assures that such partnership will continue and revealed that his organisation has poured in more than USD 350 million in the COPREFA and other initiatives

Tariro Chimhanda – Business Mail