ARIISE, Afreximbank sign $400m facility for industrial parks

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and ARISE Integrate Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) have signed in Accra a term sheet for a US$400 million tranche under a proposed US$1 billion global credit facility to support ARISE IIP in the development of industrial parks and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in several African countries and to avail funding to meet trade finance requirements and to finance capital expenditure in support of expansion of operating Industrial Parks..

Signed by Ms. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, for Afreximbank, and Gagan Gupta, CEO ARISE IIP, for the company, at the ongoing Afreximbank Annual Meetings, the facility represents a continuation of the support provided by the Bank to ARISE IIP with close to US$700 million availed to the company over the past decade for the development of industrial parks and special economic zones in Gabon, Togo and Benin.

Afreximbank has also invested in ARISE IIP through its Fund for Export Development in Africa which availed a convertible loan to ARISE IIP in 2022.

Afreximbank is cognisant that most economies with the fastest growing exports have well-developed SEZ programmes which have led to employment creation. SEZs also help to structurally transform economies away from informality, promoting industrialization and supporting the growth of Intra-African trade and investments.

The ceremony also featured the signing and entry into force of a collaboration agreement between Malawi and ARISE IIP for the design, development, and operation of two world-class industrial parks and SEZs in Lilongwe and Blantyre to assist in closing gaps in industrial infrastructure to support the country’s focus on export manufacturing to transform its economy and generate jobs.

The two projects are expected to attract investment exceeding US$900 million and generate around 200,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country. Afreximbank supported the Government of Malawi to develop the projects from early stages up to bankability, including providing financing and technical assistance through its Project Preparation and Export Development departments.

The collaboration agreement addresses infrastructure gaps as the Government of Malawi seeks to accelerate structural transformation away from primary commodity exports to value addition.

In addition, Afreximbank and the Government of Malawi signed the renewal of an existing MoU geared towards the swift implementation of industrial projects, mega farms and an Export Trading Company.

These initiatives are expected to generate investments exceeding US$1.5 billion in the short to medium term, with Afreximbank expected to provide advisory services to support effective implementation of the integrated development strategy, facilitating twinning and matching services to attract African direct investment, introducing and supporting African EPC companies.

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