ITFC, Cameroon sign a $750 million agreement to support key sectors
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) and the Republic of Cameroon have signed two agreements in a virtual signing ceremony between H.E. Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (IsDB Governor) and Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC.
The first signing is a three-year framework agreement amounting to $ 750 Million under which ITFC will provide to Cameroon a financing envelop of $ 250 Million annually over a period of three years to facilitate the imports of key commodities in the strategic sectors of energy, mining, in addition to the health sector with medical supplies including healthcare equipment.
It will also sustain its already strong support to the priority sector of agricultural with the exports of agricultural commodities such as cotton, soy amongst others.
Through this framework agreement, ITFC will also be extending its support to SMEs and private sector through financing facilities to local banks and financial institutions.
It will also support trade development through capacity building initiatives to strengthen key sectors including healthcare. The agreement also enshrines Cameroon’s membership to ITFC's flagship program, the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) program, which aims to facilitate trade and investment flows between Arab and African regions.
In this regard, H.E. Alamine Ousmane Mey stated that, “We are very pleased with the agreements signed with ITFC. The three-year renewal of our cooperation framework is a sign of the good and strong cooperation between Cameroon and ITFC, and of the continued goodwill to implement a successful planning strategy in the country.
The $750 Million financing will help the Cameroonian government consolidate its economic recovery efforts in the specific context of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, by facilitating the importation of crucial energy products, medical supplies, and agriculture inputs, whilst strengthening the fundamentals of the economy of Cameroon through private sector and SME development. This is an opportunity for us to reiterate Cameroon's sincere thanks to ITFC.”
The CEO of ITFC, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol reiterated the Corporation’s commitment to supporting economic recovery in Cameroon saying that, “We are keen to continue our successful collaboration with the Government of Cameroon through providing trade solutions that best meet the needs of the country, especially in view of the impact of COVID-19. We are committed to working closer with our partners and to support the country in its efforts to develop important sectors such as agriculture, especially cotton, which is a major export commodity, as well as to support the country’s financial institutions to boost private sector development and SME growth.”
The second signing is related to a EUR 98 Million Murabaha Financing agreement in favour of Société de Développement du Coton (SODECOTON), to facilitate the purchase of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, seed cotton, and soybeans. ITFC has a long-standing relationship with Cameroon and SODECOTON. ITFC financing to date has enabled the country to achieve a record production of 328,454 tons of seed cotton collected in 2019/2020, of which 115,000 tons of cotton lint were exported despite the COVID-19 pandemic.