The Ecowas Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) has penned two agreements totalling €20mn as it works to boost petroleum product imports into Mali, a country gripped by political turmoil and battling higher fuel prices.

EBID, a development finance institution operating across the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), has signed a €10mn facility extension with Baraka Petroleum, and provided a revolving facility worth the same amount to another Malian firm, Société Niangadou Distribution Compagnie (NDC).

NDC will use the funds to import and sell petroleum products, in turn growing its activities in the Malian energy sector, while the Baraka deal will help marketers and miners in Mali purchase fuel for their activities. The financing follows a previous agreement in 2022, which saw EBID extend a €7mn facility to Baraka for the acquisition of 47 tanker trucks.

George Donkor, EBID president, says it is important that Mali, a landlocked nation heavily dependent on fuel imports, secures a “consistent supply” of petroleum for key economic activities, such as mining.

Mali reaps much of its export revenue from gold and is one of the largest global producers of the metal, with 2021 data from the International Trade Centre showing precious stones, predominantly gold, comprised roughly 95% of exports.

But the country’s economy and export sector have been threatened by soaring commodities prices since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, coupled with political turmoil in the West African state since 2020.

For the first half of last year, fellow members of the Ecowas political and economic union, which is comprised of West African nations, imposed a trade embargo on Mali and cut it off from the region’s financial markets and central bank in response to the ruling military junta delaying elections. The sanctions were only lifted in July 2022.

In a separate deal announced this month, EBID says it has also signed a new US$30mn credit line with Access Bank in Ghana for on-lending to small and medium-sized agribusinesses, as well as related sectors, such as processing, infrastructure and transport.