IFC, Afriland to provide finance guarantees to corporates in Cameroon

AA – 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 Program (GTFP).

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.

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