Douala, Cameroon, July 30, 2015—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Afriland
First Bank Cameroon (“Afriland”), to enable it to expand its trade finance
operations and extend more services to small and medium enterprises and
corporate clients in Cameroon. The risk-mitigating scheme will provide
guarantees to local importers and exporters that alleviate trade lines
limitations and related constraints within the banking community.
A breakthrough initiative towards a privately-owned
Cameroonian bank, the facility of up to $15 million will guarantee Afriland’s
trade-related payment obligations. Through IFC’s global network of confirming
banks, Afriland can establish partnerships with several major international
and regional banks, thus broadening access to trade finance for its clients.
Afriland First Bank’s Managing Director
Alphonse Nafack said: “We are delighted to partner with IFC to improve
our trade finance franchise and more efficiently, support our SME and Corporate
clients. We can confidently enhance our global reach, gain familiarity
in new markets and build relationships with quality counterparty banks
around the world.”
Afriland First Bank Cameroon is a subsidiary
of Afriland First Group, one of Africa’s largest homegrown banking groups
with subsidiaries in 11 countries. The bank was established in 1986 in
Cameroon and has since been expanding beyond the Central Africa region.
“IFC is committed to helping to enhance
Cameroon’s importation flow through the trade finance facility with Afriland
First Bank. We aim to build on this relationship with Afriland to further
support expanding businesses in Cameroon. As the lead bank for SMEs in
Cameroon, Afriland is a suitable partner for IFC’s Global Trade Finance
In order to help Afriland align with best
international practices, IFC will also provide trade finance training to
enhance the capacity of Afriland’s staff and improve operations by consistently
aligning policies and procedures with international best practices.
Since its launch in 2005, IFC’s Global Trade
Finance Program (GTFP) has facilitated over $40 billion in trade through
nearly 300 banks in 96 countries, including 70 banks in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With its global mandate, dedicated trade specialists and participating
banks across the regions, the program links an extensive network of bank
partners worldwide and allows them to conveniently finance their clients’
imports and exports.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private
sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use
our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion
in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most
urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org