The pan-African banking group, Ecobank, has launched a loan facility worth $40 million targeting businesses, both local and international.
Investments to benefit from the facility include those in oil and gas sectors, energy, mining, telecommunications, manufacturing and agriculture.
The amount is a component of the $2.5 billion window to go to 33 countries on the continent where Ecobank has a footprint.
Speaking during a breakfast meeting the bank held for business captains recently in Blantyre, Ecobank Managing Director, Charles Asiedu, said the funds will help streamline growth of businesses.
He said using available trade facilities the bank has through other international commercial banks, the opportunity intends to drive growth of the private sector.
“Our mission is to promote Africa and where we find ourselves, we do that. It is time that we brought the trade platform from the top level to the lower level where we find Small and Medium Enterprises,” Asiedu said.
According to Asiedu, funds worth over $70 million under the facility have already been channelled to the intended beneficiaries.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa, called on commercial banks in the country to explore more avenues of funding the private sector to accelerate economic growth.
“Most businesses are failing to thrive due to rigid conditions and high interest rates set by commercial banks. I, therefore, urge you to soften the conditions so that the private sector can thrive,” Mussa said.
Lowering inflation has seen interest rates also going down but economic commentators argue the drop is not enough to offer relief to borrowers.
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