The financing will support the Bank’s interventions in food security and climate smart agriculture; The two also signed an MoU to enhance cooperation between Italian and African companies.

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A (CDP) Italy, the official Italian financial institution for international development cooperation and Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) have signed a new financing facility worth €100 million to support the Bank’s interventions in food security and climate-smart agriculture in Africa.

The financing adds to an initial commitment from CDP of €100 million, lifting the total financing from CDP to €200 million. The two financial institutions also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster synergies between Italian and African companies.

The partnership was announced during the inauguration of CDP’s new office in Cairo, the first operational headquarter of the Italian institution in Africa. Haytham ElMaayergi, Executive Vice President of Afreximbank, and Dario Scannapieco, Chief Executive Officer of CDP signed the agreement.

The new financing from CDP will be used to provide support, either directly to eligible African enterprises, or indirectly through local financial intermediaries. Some of the projects that will be financed will include those related to local production and import of essential soft commodities such as cereals and fertilisers.

Commenting on the event, Mr. ElMaayergi said that the facility would support Afreximbank’s drive to increase food production in its member countries and would also help Africa to achieve food security through private sector intervention. Additionally, it will support the development of alternative food channels, including increasing investments in climate-smart agriculture, to increase food yield and provide resilience to businesses in the food and agriculture space.

He added that “the MOU will promote collaboration between Italian and African enterprises and will bring Africa and Italy closer with the aim of promoting intra and extra-African trade. The collaboration, he said, includes co-financing of eligible transactions with sovereigns, corporates and financial institutions in Afreximbank’s member countries, and the organisation, participation and promotion of matchmaking events with African stakeholders and local business communities in Italy, or any of Afreximbank’s member countries.

On his part, Mr. Scannapieco said: “Food security and the resilience of agricultural supply chains are key issues for the development of the African continent, as also highlighted by the initiatives undertaken by the Italian government with the Mattei Plan. Through collaboration with Afreximbank, CDP will be able to guarantee resources to local SMEs operating in these sectors, while at the same time favouring the creation of opportunities for Italian companies. This commitment will further be reinforced through the opening of our new office in Cairo, which confirms the centrality of Africa in CDP strategy.”

This new facility will enable Afreximbank to provide timely and necessary support to its member countries through businesses in the food security space and bolster management of supply chain crisis, particularly around soft commodities. This will in turn contribute to the stabilisation of food security and the diversification of supply sources in Africa.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Afreximbank.