British International Investment
20 January 2020

CDC unveils further US$100 million trade finance agreement with Absa in major boost to trade finance in Africa

CDC Group plc (“CDC”), the UK’s impact investor for Africa and South Asia, has today announced at the Africa Investment Summit a US$100 million trade finance loan with Absa Bank Limited (Absa), one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups.

The fresh injection of finance will be deployed by Absa and its affiliates in 12 countries to support trade transactions undertaken by local businesses, African SMEs and entrepreneurs.

Trade finance plays a key role in Absa’s strategy to become a leading pan-African bank. The investment will enable trade finance lending to Absa Group subsidiaries in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, as well as other non-subsidiary correspondent banks across Africa.

This direct loan follows a recent agreement by CDC to provide a US$75 million trade finance facility to Absa. The combined sum of US$175 million is CDC’s largest trade finance commitment in Africa.

CDC’s dual capital commitment with Absa comes at a critical time for African businesses, particularly for SMEs that have suffered due to the decrease in the flow of hard currency to African banks over recent years. This can often prevent companies from taking advantage of opportunities to grow, secure export opportunities and increase employment.

George Wilson, Head of Institutional Trade at Absa, said: “Having CDC as a partner will significantly boost our financial commitment to drive African trade and practically support local banks, businesses, SMEs and entrepreneurs – the real source of GDP growth and developmental transformation of African economies. This is a major step in turning back the tide of African de-risking that has starved the continent of trade finance and should profoundly enhance Absa’s Trade Hub contribution to making the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) the success it needs to be.”

Admir Imami, Director, Head of Trade & Supply Chain Finance at CDC, said: “CDC now has US$850 million of commitments in place with five partner banks and has subsequently supported nearly 2,000 trade finance transactions across Africa and South Asia since 2015.

“Our commitment to boosting African trade is paramount to the economic and social development of the continent, and to addressing a US $90 billion to $120 billion financing gap to local businesses.

“Over the last few years, banks headquartered in places such as the US and Europe have reduced their exposure to Africa which has led to an acute shortage of trade finance capacity in African countries that need it the most. This in turn has prevented African businesses from fulfilling their potential and taking advantage of global market opportunities.

Entrepreneurs in Africa deserve the same opportunities as their counterparts in other, more developed economies, where trade financing is much easier to come by.”

CDC partners with both international and local banks to boost levels of trade finance to their clients. The company focuses on countries where raising capital is a challenge which stagnates economic prosperity. CDC is playing a key role in closing the trade finance gap in Africa. This dual partnership with Absa is a considerable step forward in addressing this challenge.





Media Contact:

Andrew Murray-Watson, CDC Group, +44 20 7036 4353 / [email protected]

Sizwekazi Mdingi, Absa, +27834163017/[email protected];


About CDC:


CDC Group is the UK’s first impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in South Asia and Africa.

CDC is a leading player in the fight against climate change and a UK champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all.

The company has investments in over 1,200 businesses in emerging economies and a total portfolio value of £5.8bn. This year CDC will invest over $1.5bn in companies in Africa and Asia with a focus on fighting climate change, empowering women and creating new jobs and opportunities for millions of people.

CDC is funded by the UK government and all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.

CDC’s expertise makes it the perfect partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment.


About Absa Group Limited


Absa Group Limited (‘Absa Group’) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups.   Absa Group offers an integrated set of products and services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and insurance.


Absa Group has a presence in 12 countries in Africa, with approximately 42 000 employees.  The Group’s registered head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it owns majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa (Absa Bank), Tanzania (Barclays Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia.  The Group also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria, as well as insurance operations in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.


Absa has introduced the Absa Trade Hub to facilitate corporate, SME and Institutional trade flows and financing into, out of and within the entire African continent through its affiliates and correspondent network to simplify and enhance African Trade.


For further information about Absa Group Limited, please visit




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