Monday, May 30, 2022

OPINION:

ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) is the leading West African DFI owned by the fifteen (15) countries in the sub-region (popularly known as ECOWAS Member States). The Bank started operations in 1979 and has undergone various transformations, with the final one in 2006 being the reorganization of the EBID Group as one entity, operating through two windows: public and private sectors. The Bank’s project commitments to date stand at USD3.1 billion in various sectors of ECOWAS Member States. “The Bank is committed to financing development projects and programs in the areas of energy, industry, health, education, agriculture, technology, hospitality, tourism, etc; aimed at boosting economic activity, enhancing economic integration and cooperation among Member States with the overall objective to be job promotion, wealth creation and poverty reduction for the wellbeing of the people of the region” explained Dr. George Agyekum Donkor, President & Chairman of the Bank.

EBID, as the foremost DFI and the only DFI that covers all the 15 ECOWAS countries, has a deep knowledge of the dynamics in the sub-region. The Bank is in the process of inviting non-regional countries and institutions to participate in its capital subscription. The United States and institutions in the US are key targets for the Bank. “Quite apart from this, there is a vast array of opportunities for US entities to participate either directly or indirectly in the sub-region. Such corporates can lend credit facilities to EBID for on-lending to priority projects in the sub-region. Alternatively, they can identify projects in the sub-region and source credit facilities from EBID to carry them out” said Dr. Agyekum Donkor.


The West African sub-region has great potential for growth and good investment returns. It is home to more than 407 million people, including Nigeria (Africa’s largest economy and most-populous country), Ghana, Cte d’Ivoire, Senegal, among others. The sub-region recorded an average real GDP growth of approximately 5% between 2009 and 2019, a sign of a burgeoning economy. “EBID aims to contribute towards creating the conditions capable of enhancing the emergence of an economically strong, industrialized, and prosperous West Africa that is perfectly integrated both internally and in the global economic system. The end goal is to eradicate poverty by investing in impactful sectors of the economy to engender job creation within the sub-region” the President assured.


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