Ghana COCOBOD launches US$600m syndicated loan facility to boost sector operations

GHANA – The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has officially launched the US$600 million syndicated loan facility which it signed with some Development Finance Institutions (DFI) to finance key components of the organisation’s productivity enhancement programmes.

The loan facility aims to implement production, warehousing and processing interventions, adding value to Ghana’s cocoa sector.

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Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board, speaking at the launch revealed that the organization has received the first tranche of US$200 million out of the US$600 million cocoa syndicated loan facility.

“We are gathered here today to inform our cherished stakeholders and the public about this syndicated loan facility and other support activities being provided by our international development partners in the cocoa sector. I am happy to announce that the first tranche of $200 million out of the $600 million facility has been received”, he stated.

According to a statement by COCOBOD, the institutions providing the funds include the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Spa (CDP), as well as, commercial finance agencies such as Credit Suisse AG and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC).

In November last year COCOBOD inked the syndicated receivables-backed term loan agreement with AfDB, Credit Suisse Group AG and Industrial and ICBC.

In delivering this facility, the AfDB has acted as Original DFI Lender and Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, partnering with Credit Suisse as Original Commercial Lender, Global Commercial Coordinator and Co-Mandated Lead Arranger.

Credit Suisse is also acting as Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner to structure and fund a dual-tranche facility comprising a US$250 million, 7-year DFI tranche with the Bank, as well as a US$350 million, 5-year commercial tranche.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited joined as an Original Commercial Lender, Co-Mandated Lead Arranger and Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner ahead of syndication.

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“Let me take this opportunity to thank the consortium of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), led by the African Development Bank (AfDB), for the confidence reposed in Ghana’s cocoa sector, culminating in their decision to support the Board’s Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) with a $600 million receivable-backed syndicated loan facility,” stated the CEO

“We believe this loan will support us to strengthen the cocoa value chain, help alleviate poverty by increasing productivity and promoting a progressive cocoa consumption environment,” he added.

COCOBOD has earmarked a number of projects along the entire domestic cocoa value chain from the production of cocoa beans to processing, where the funds will be applied to strengthen the local cocoa industry.

“This will in turn aid the cocoa authority in its effort to achieve SDG Goals 1 (no poverty), 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 12 (responsible consumption and production),” stated COCOBOD.

The launch was attended by both physical and virtual attendees with representatives from the Development Finance Institutions, COCOBOD and other key stakeholders.

The multi-million dollar agreement is in line with the COCOBOD transaction launched at the Africa Investment Forum in 2018. Prior to the agreement, COCOBOD did not have access to long-term debt capital.

This is a demonstration of the Forum’s ability to raise much needed financing, including from international commercial financiers, for projects in Africa.

The Africa Investment Forum, an initiative of the African Development Bank is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace, dedicated to raising capital, advancing projects to bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.

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