The African Development Bank (AfDB), Credit Suisse AG, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Tuesday signed a $600 million syndicated receivables-backed term loan to boost cocoa productivity in Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa producer.
Nigerian cocoa farmers and other farmers of the cash crop across West Africa would also be assisted by the bank to develop the cocoa value chain, according to AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina who spoke in Johannesburg after the signing of the facility.
Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Dr Adesina, senior officials from Credit Suisse and ICBC, oversaw the signing of the facility, at a ceremony held on the second day of the 2019 Africa Investment Forum.
The multi-million dollar agreement is a milestone for the bank-convened Africa Investment Forum, a transactional platform dedicated to transforming the continent’s investment and development agenda, which kicked off in Sandton City, Johannesburg on Monday.
The bank, as Original DFI Lender and Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, is partnering with Credit Suisse as Original Commercial Lender, Global Commercial Coordinator and Co-Mandated Lead Arranger.
Credit Suisse is also acting as Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner to structure and fund a dual-tranche facility comprising a $250 million, 7-year DFI tranche with the bank, as well as a $350 million, 5-year commercial tranche.
Syndication of the facility is underway, according to AfDB officials.
Making sure that Africa gets to the top of the value chain is one of the AfDB’s top priorities, President Adesina said, adding that Africa could become a global hub for cocoa and cocoa-based products.
“All cocoa producing countries will get similar support (from the bank). Ghana is bankable, cocoa is bankable and of course Africa is bankable,” Adesina said.
Signing for Credit Suisse, Madthav Patki said, “This is a positive contribution to a key sector of Ghana’s economy. It is a moment of tremendous pride…This is what the Africa Investment Forum is all about,” Patki said.