Ghana EXIM Bank facilitates ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda
The Ghana Export Import (EXIM) Bank is strategically empowering the private sector through various support programmes to help make businesses more competitive and capable of contributing to the realisation of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
As a development bank with focus on export-led financing, the bank has, since its establishment in 2016, supported investors and companies in selected areas of the economy with low cost funds to retool, improve operational efficiencies and produce exportable goods.The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank, Mr Lawrence Agyinsam, said in an interview that all those programmes were aligned to the government’s 10-point agenda for industrial transformation.The bank’s strategy also focuses on developing specific sectors such as garment and apparel manufacturing, raw material base development for avocado, cashew, oil palm and cassava, he indicated. “Ultimately, the Ghana EXIM Bank seeks to support the private sector with a view to improving the country’s economic fortunes.“Therefore, in choosing enterprises it will support, the Ghana EXIM Bank considers three key benchmarks, which are derived from development instead of commercial objectives. These are employment creation, value addition through production efficiency and foreign exchange revenue potential,’’ the CEO explained. 1D1FAs the national EXIM bank, Mr Agyinsam said the Ghana EXIM Bank was the main financial driver behind the government’s flagship district industrialisation programme (DIP), the One-District, One-Factory (1D1F) initiative.The initiative seeks to accelerate Ghana’s industrialisation and socio-economic development. It is anticipated that the programme will empower entrepreneurs by giving them access to the market for their output and also create jobs for the teeming youth. So far, Mr Agyinsam noted that the EXIM Bank had approved GH¢417 million to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the above-mentioned initiative. “Coordination between the 1D1F Secretariat and the bank ensures that regional balance, project viability, availability of infrastructure and the corporate governance structure of each potential company is considered before each project is appraised by the bank,” he said. Five-year planThe CEO explained that the bank’s five-year strategic goals (2017-2022) were to increase revenue from non-traditional exports (NTEs) from the current average of US$2.4 billion to US$5 billion, develop crops such as avocado and cashew into major export products, reduce the nation’s import bill for poultry by US$300 million to become a key finance partner for effective implementation of government initiatives such as the 1D1F, and to complement the effort of exporters, making Ghana a strong pillar regionally and globally; for instance in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Strategic partnershipsMr Agyinsam said the bank was interested in building its own capacities to be able to serve the country better.As a result, he revealed that it had so far had collaborations with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), EXIM Bank of India, Korea EXIM, Turkey EXIM, Afreximbank, US EXIM Bank and China EXIM Bank.Other partnerships include Berne Union, G-NEXID, SACE of Italy, AADFI, CDC of Canada, Credit Suisse and UKEF. He explained that while some of the collaborations covered technical assistance, some involved financial support. He added that the Afrexim and US EXIM collaborations were direct financial supports to the bank’s operations and the 1D1F respectively.Project areas Mr Agyinsam stated that the bank had so far funded three projects in the poultry business in the Ashanti Region with GH¢39.4 million. The projects created 747 jobs and are expected to generate some GH¢18.8 million.According to him, the bank also funded three pineapple projects at Ekumfi, Komenda and West Akyem at a cost of GH¢102.9 million. They are expected to create 5,385 jobs and generate GH¢51.1 million in revenue.Other projects are:Sweet potatoesOne project funded(a) Location: Gomoa West District(b) Funds: GH¢14.4m(c) Job creation: 970 jobs(d) Expected revenue: GH¢24.8mCassavaThree projects funded (a) Location: Eastern,Volta and Brong Ahafo regions(b) Funds: GH¢74.7m(c) Job creation: 11,200 jobs (d) Expected revenue: GH¢387.7mAvocadoOne project funded(a) Location: Suhum District(b) Funds: GH¢44.3m(c) Job creation: 5,000 jobs (d) Expected revenue: GH¢575mCashewTwo projects funded (a) Location: Tema, Abelemkpe and Sampa(b) Funds: GH¢21m(c) Job creation: 2,403 jobs (d) Expected revenue: GH¢14.1m Brick and TilesOne project funded(a) Location: Tanoso District(b) Funds: GH¢50m (c) Job creation: 1,000 jobs(d) Expected revenue: Fertiliser Manufacturing One project funded(a) Location: Tema(b) Funds: GH¢47m(c) Job Creation:(d) Expected Revenue: GH¢96.82m Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Seven projects funded (a) Location: Greater Accra and Eastern regions (b) Funds: GH¢132m (c) Job creation: 3,095 jobs (d) Expected revenue: GH¢904.75m So far, EXIM Bank has approved GH¢417 million to support SMEs under the government’s key programmes aimed at industrialising the economy.