African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and the Agence
Française de Development (AFD), France’s public and solidarity-based
development bank wednesday signed the final documents facilitating the
financing of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups across the 20
countries where UBA operates in Africa.
Development, entered into a framework agreement to utilise the EURIZ and ARIZ
schemes offered by AFD to facilitate the financing of the Small and
Medium-scale Enterprises and start-ups across the 20 countries where UBA
operates in Africa.
partnership which was signed by both organisations is an off-shoot of the
strategic relationship both institutions have entered into last year and is for the execution of the facility agreement for the EURIZ
Guarantee – a scheme launched in May 2019 to facilitate MSMEs’ access to credit
which will enable them play their essential role in economic growth and job
creation in the continent.
Group’s (AFD and its private sector financing arm Proparco) new EURIZ guarantee
mechanism in Africa. It is issued with the support of and funding from the
European Union in the context of the EU external investment plan.
which was held in UBA Head Office in Lagos, the Group Managing Director/Chief
Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said the partnership expected to enhance UBA’s capacity to
finance SMEs, whilst ensuring AFD uses the financial structure availed by UBA
to reach out to many SMEs across Africa.
journey that we started a couple of years ago that will lead to the development
of the market, particularly Small and Medium Scale businesses. These are
businesses that will not ordinarily be bankable, but with this partnership
between UBA and AFD, we can now make it happen.
institution that is well known across Africa and we believe that a major area
of development for any economy, is the empowerment of SMEs. An economy such as
ours can only be said to succeed when these businesses succeed. It is our
belief that this is just the take-off point and as the business succeeds, there
will be need to review this portfolio,” the GMD continued.
Thomas HUSSON, who spoke at the event, noted that the purpose of EURIZ scheme
is to encourage investment in EU partner countries, to strengthen partnerships
and contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, helping to address
some root causes of migration.
mechanism EURIZ will help UBA finance entrepreneurs incubated by the Tony
Elumelu Foundation, in view to support their developmental impact.
and this is even better because we share UBA’s commitment to empowering SMES in
Africa. Over the years, we at AFD have been willing to work with this bank
owing to the role and importance that this financial institution plays in
Nigeria and in Africa. And so, we look forward to strengthening the partnership
with UBA Group which is the Nigerian head-quartered bank that has the most
success in Africa and beyond,” Husson said.
70% of local bank loans granted to MSMEs operating in sectors with a high
social impact. “The scheme also includes a technical
cooperation component that will support these partner institutions to best
serve these companies,” he added.
financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the
United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France.
incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the
assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria
since 1949. The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005
and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s
largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and
other financial services on the African continent. The Bank which was awarded
the Best Digital Bank in Africa by the Euromoney awards in 2018, provides
services to over 17 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse
service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches and customer
touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms.
shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank
has a well-diversified shareholder base, which includes foreign and local
institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.