Posted by Timige, On 13 Nov, 2023 | Updated On 13 Nov, 2023 No Comments »
UNITED Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has said its agreement with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to provide financing for up to $6.0 billion over the next three years to eligible small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will boost economic growth across Africa.
The bank’s management disclosed this at the official opening of the 37th Lagos International Trade Fair (LIFT) 2023, organised by the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) with the theme, ‘Navigating Economic Challenges, Forging a Path to Prosperity’ held in Lagos State.
UBA signed the agreement with AfCFTA on the sidelines of the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meeting (AAM) which was held in Accra, Ghana recently..
Speaking to newsmen at the sidelines of the just concluded Lagos Trade Fair, the Deputy Managing Director of UBA, Muyiwa Akinyemi expressed the bank’s commitment to SMEs in Nigeria and across Africa to succeed and contribute meaningfully to their economies and the continent as a whole.
He said the Lagos Trade fair is perhaps the foremost trade Fair event in Africa and has been around for 135 years.
According to him, “we need to be visibly present here. And not only that, we have also been elite sponsor or partner to Lagos Chamber of Commerce (LCCI) for the past 10 years now.”
He took time to recognise the role that SMEs play in advancing the success of economies all over the world, adding that, “We have continued to not only pull our weight behind the fair, by consistently retaining headline sponsorship for this all-important event, but have also provided far reaching expert advice that empower SMEs to go ahead and become global champions as we have seen with many success stories of businesses that have participated in this fair at any point in time.
“Also as a leader in African trade, we have identified this fair as a veritable avenue for both domestic and international exhibitors to promote their businesses through product launches, sales opportunities, and business-to-business meetings with government agencies while fostering international trade partnership deals across borders,” Akinyemi stated.
Earlier, UBA’s Group Head, Retails Products and Sales, Prince Ayewoh, who also spoke at the event, had said the LCCI has done well to transform the fair to become one of the major attractions of trade in Africa when it comes to SME attendance across the continent.
Ayewoh explained that SMEs typically contribute around 50 pre cent of GDP and 60 per cent of employment in national or local economies while evidence suggests they contribute only about 30 per cent of exports and even less of international investment.
He noted that it is on this premise that the UBA, which has an extensive spread across Africa and other major economies of the world, is always on the lookout for partnership opportunities that will benefit the business environment and the economies where it operates.
Source: State Oyo - Tribune
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