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Afreximbank disburses $18bn loans, aims for more refinery financing after Dangote’s

African, CARICOM presidents to headline AfriCaribbean trade investment forum

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) 2023 allocated a total of $18 billion to various projects across Africa, with a strategic goal of supporting the refining of 50 per cent of the continent’s 5 million barrels per day of crude oil production.

Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, described the past year as exceptional for the bank and its operations throughout Africa. Despite ongoing macroeconomic challenges, the bank increased its disbursements by 8.7 per cent, from $16.6 billion in the previous year to $18 billion.

“This brought our total assets and guarantees to $37.2 billion by the end of 2023. Alongside asset growth, we also delivered increased value for our shareholders. Total revenues of the Afreximbank Group surged by 74.2 percent to $2.6 billion, with profits rising by 66 percent to $756 million,” Oramah stated at the ongoing 2024 Afreximbank annual meetings, incorporating Africaribbean trade and investment forum, in Nassau, The Bahamas.

He also highlighted the contributions from group entities such as the Fund for Export Development in Africa and Afrexim Shore, which began to make modest contributions to the bank’s revenue and profits.

“Our goal is to support the creation of a refining capacity that will ensure that at least 50 percent of about 5 million barrels per day of crude oil produced in the Gulf of Guinea is refined in Africa,” he said.

Oramah highlighted the bank’s significant achievements and impact in 2023. Beyond impressive financial figures, Oramah emphasised the transformative projects and lives positively affected by the bank’s initiatives.

“We are thrilled by the many lives touched and the positive changes brought about by our efforts this year,” Oramah stated. “Among these, I must highlight our crucial support that enabled the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Company to commence operations. This additional facility has brought our total direct and indirect support for the complex over the years to $2.6 billion.”

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Oramah detailed the monumental projects supported by Afreximbank, including the largest single-train oil refinery in the world by Dangote, with a processing capacity of over 650,000 barrels per day of crude oil. Additionally, the bank backed one of the largest nitrogen fertilizer plants, producing 3 million tons of urea fertilizer per year, set to rise to 6 million tons, and a petrochemical plant producing about a million tons of polypropylene annually.

“We are proud to be associated with these transformational projects, demonstrating the critical role of the capital we control in financing our development,” Oramah added. “It was the African capital that made the difference in delivering these monumental Dangote projects. We congratulate Aliko Dangote for his exemplary courage and entrepreneurial leadership in spearheading this $19 billion project.”

Looking ahead, Afreximbank aims to collaborate with the CARICOM Secretariat to establish the Caribbean EximBank, aiming to support similar transformational projects in the region. Oramah urged the leaders of CARICOM, stating, “Without your own banks like ours, you will not dream of having such projects. Nobody is going to do it for you.”

The support for the Dangote project came as part of a broader strategy, including $1.3 billion in combined support to build a new refinery in Cabinda, Angola, and refurbish the Port Harcourt refinery in Nigeria. Oramah reiterated the bank’s goal: “Our aim is to create refining capacity that ensures at least 50 percent of the approximately 5 million barrels per day of crude oil produced in the Gulf of Guinea is refined in Africa.”

SOURCE: Businessday

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