The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc yesterday signed a $100 million, a seven-year loan deal with the China Development Bank. The partnership is expected to enhance UBA’s capacity to provide SMEs with access to financial facilities in all the nineteen African countries where the bank currently operates.
The Pan African Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka said that the deal is also expected to catalyse Africa’s commercial and industrial development.
The bank’s Chairman, Tony Elumelu, who spoke during the deal signing ceremony, also said that the $100 million loan will go a long way in helping African SMEs to scale up. He also noted that the CDB’s interest in supporting Small and Medium Enterprises is in tandem with UBA’s vision to help grow businesses 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– Tony Elumelu
Zheng Zhijie, the president of the China Development Bank commended UBA Plc for setting the pace in African banking while reiterating that the partnership will help his bank to achieve its business objectives in Africa, even as China continues to deepen its investments in rail/road construction, energy and infrastructure across Africa.
What is the China Development Bank?
The China Development Bank (CDB) is China’s larger bank for foreign investment and the world’s largest development finance institution. It provides the medium-to-long-term credit facilities which help to serve the Chinese Government’s long-term development strategies.
As at 2016, CDB’s assets grew to RMB 14.34 trillion with a balance of loans of RMB 10.32 trillion. The bank has thirty-seven primary branches on mainland China, as well as an offshore branch in Hong Kong.
Why is this deal important?
Recall that the UBA Group has in recent years initiated a number of programmes aimed at assisting African entrepreneurs and SMEs. An example of such programmes is the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme which is dedicated to empowering thousands of Africans entrepreneurs towards becoming future employers of labour.
In light of this partnership with the CDB therefore, the UBA group is better positioned to assist more Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and entrepreneurs towards scaling their businesses and starting new ones; moves that will, in turn, encourage sustainable development across many African countries.