April 30, 2020: The African Development Bank (AfDB) on April 15 approved a $40 million financial package to support Angola’s Banco Millennium Atlântico (BMA) to bolster local production and job creation through its portfolio of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The package consists of a $32 million line of credit from the AfDB and an additional $8 million in parallel financing from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), a co-financing fund sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by the AfDB.

The facility will provide the long-term financing required by BMA to support the expansion needs of growth-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating mostly in agriculture, agro-industry and domestic manufacturing.

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, the package will also help to create direct and indirect jobs, contribute critically needed foreign exchange savings through import substitution, and lay a foundation to boost exports to neighbouring countries.

By fostering local production and stimulating job creation through a diversified pipeline of projects, the funds will ultimately contribute towards Angola’s efforts to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth as well as economic diversification in a country heavily reliant on oil export revenues.

BMA, one of the largest commercial banks in Angola and a leading financier of domestic firms, especially SMEs, is headquartered in the capital city, Luanda, with a country-wide network of branches. It offers products spanning commercial, investment and private banking solutions. BMA has been a partner of choice for Angolan SMEs in agriculture and manufacturing value chains.

Recently, African Union Development Agency’s (AUDA-NEPAD) and Ecobank Group collaborated on a continental initiative to support African micro and small medium enterprises (MSMEs) as they face the economic and social challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Similarly, Nestle and IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, as part of the Grown Sustainably in Africa (GSA) programme in its three-year partnership aims to support 25,000 farmers and 50 SMEs, as well as open-up new markets for them in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria, increasing employment and food security.

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