The World Bank and European Investment Bank have backed a lending and leasing programme aimed at assisting small business in Ethiopia.
The World Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) have backed a USD 280 million lending and leasing programme, which is aimed at assisting small business in Ethiopia.
In a statement, EIB said the investment would be directed at improving access to finance and strengthening the role of small businesses in Ethiopia’s financial sector.”
State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, H.E. Admasu Nebebe said: “The European Investment Bank has supported investment to improve energy, water, communications and private enterprise across Ethiopia for more than 40 years and is a key partner for sustainable development in Ethiopia.”
The deal is the first of its kind, in that the EIB and World Bank are the first to offer international support for the country. EIB’s financial commitment is also the largest ever engagement in Ethiopia.
Small business owners can look forward to a plethora of financing options, including microfinance institutions, commercial banks and leasing firms. Technical assistance will also be provided alongside the new private sector financing.
EIB’s Vice President Pim van Ballekom said the bank is committed to supporting long-term investment across Africa. He said the organisation takes the view of improving infrastructure and bolstering economic activity.
“Access to finance is essential for private enterprise to expand and innovate. This new initiative will support the local entrepreneurship and the creation of manufacturing jobs by hundreds of companies across Ethiopia.”
Meanwhile, Chantal Hebberecht, European Union Ambassador to Ethiopia said: “The new Leasing and Lending for SME initiative will help to strengthen the economic resilience of vulnerable communities and reflects Europe’s commitment to help Ethiopia improve access to finance.”
The LEX Africa member for Ethiopia is Gebreamlak and Associates Law Office