Afreximbank Approves Rn Billion To Fund Beitbridge Zimbabwe Expansion
The African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) has approved $ 70 million (approximately Rand 1.046 billion) to finance the expansion and modernization of the Beitbridge border post in Zimbabwe to boost intra-African trade.
The Beitbridge border crossing between Zimbabwe and South Africa is the busiest border crossing in southern Africa, with an average of 25,000 people and 500 trucks crossing the border per day.
The modernization of the border is intended to dramatically reduce waiting times that have hampered and slowed trade across southern Africa, forcing carriers to use longer and less efficient alternative routes.
Afreximbank on Wednesday authorized a $ 43 million term loan facility to Zimborders Mauritius Ltd and the issuance of a $ 27 million investment guarantee to help Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund join other investors in Zimborders Mauritius Ltd.
The bank’s finance facility is part of a $ 204.4 million (approximately Rand 3.2 billion) syndicated term loan facility for which Afreximbank was part of a consortium of financial institutions acting as as mandated principal arrangers and senior debt lenders.
Afreximbank Chairman Professor Benedict Oramah said upgrading the Beitbridge border post was key to reducing costs associated with traffic delays.
According to current estimates from TradeMark Southern Africa (TMSA), a truck takes around five days to clear customs at the border post, resulting in additional transport costs for importers.
Oramah said the upgrade will also increase trade in the southern African region, as part of Afreximbank’s drive to boost intra-African trade.
“It is too expensive to wait almost five days at the border to deliver goods and services across southern Africa,” Oramah said.
“With this facility, we aim to reduce the indirect and direct costs of trade associated with the effectiveness and efficiency of border posts.”
The Beitbridge Border Post Modernization Project, which is a public-private partnership, is funded by African financial institutions who have come together to provide pledges under the Syndicated Term Loan Facility.
The upgrade will include the acquisition of technical equipment and software, thereby modernizing the border post to ensure smooth service during the concession period.
In addition, Afreximbank said that investments will be made in the town of Beitbridge, including the development of a fire station, residential construction units, sewer lines for housing, power supply lines, a reservoir, water pipes, a wastewater treatment plant, a water pumping station and other infrastructure. .