The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim bank) has launched a $4 billion credit facility to assist African countries and businesses that the Russia-Ukraine war has affected.
The facility, dubbed the Ukraine Crisis Adjustment Trade Financing Programme for Africa (UKAFPA), aims to help countries meet immediate import price increases and refinance over-collateralised loans as a result of high oil and metal prices.
Support will also be extended to the central banks of tourism-dependent economies to cover foreign exchange revenue shortfalls arising from a decline in tourism arrivals from Russia and Ukraine.
Afrexim bank says that funds from the facility will help to free up cash flow so that countries can meet urgent needs, including food and fertiliser imports and service the rising cost of debt.
Experts say that the economic fallout of the war in Ukraine will be substantial for Africa, leading to higher food prices, especially in countries which import crops from the region. Non-oil and gas producers on the continent also face rising bills.
“Given the importance of Russia and Ukraine as sources of crude oil and gas, raw materials and grains, the outbreak of the conflict has wider repercussions on a global scale, including adversely affecting African economies, especially those that rely on grain, fertiliser and fuel imports,” the bank says.
The bank says that UKAFPA–compliant financing requests received from across Africa already exceed $15 billion.