Afriland First Bank Cameroon has signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), setting up a facility of up to US$15mn to guarantee its trade-related payment obligations.

The facility will enable Afriland to expand its trade finance operations and extend more services to small and medium enterprises and corporate clients in Cameroon. The risk-mitigating scheme will provide guarantees to local exporters and importers to alleviate the limitations of existing trade lines.

Afriland will benefit from the IFC’s global network of confirming banks with which to establish partnerships, broadening access to trade finance for its clients. Afriland will also receive support from the IFC in the form of trade finance training for its staff and improving operations by consistently aligning policies and procedures with international best practices.

Afriland First Bank’s managing director Alphonse Nafack says: “We are delighted to partner with the IFC to improve our trade finance franchise and more efficiently support our SMEs and corporate clients. We can confidently enhance our global reach, gain familiarity in new markets and build relationships with quality counterparty banks around the world.”

Afriland First Bank Cameroon is a subsidiary of Afriland First group, one of Africa’s largest homegrown banking groups with subsidiaries in 11 countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Liberia, South Sudan, Sao Tomé and Principe and Zambia.