GHANA – Ghana COCOBOD has inked a US$600 million syndicated receivables-backed term loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB), Credit Suisse Group AG and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to finance key components of the organisation’s productivity enhancement programmes.

In delivering this facility, the AfDB has acted as Original DFI Lender and Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, is partnering with Credit Suisse as Original Commercial Lender, Global Commercial Coordinator, 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 $250 million, 7-year DFI tranche with the Bank, as well as a $350 million, 5-year commercial tranche.

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

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.

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

These include financial interventions to sustainably increase cocoa plant fertility, improving irrigation systems, rehabilitating aged and disease-infected farms.

At a press conference following the signing, President Akufo-Addo said the agreement would help to ensure higher incomes for Ghana’s cocoa farmers.

“It was critical that we find a mechanism for scaling up the value chain for our farmers and that is where the Bank came in we see this agreement as a turning point and…to what is possible on this continent.” Akufo Addo said.

President of African Development Bank, Adesina said, “All cocoa producing countries will get similar support (from the Bank). Ghana is bankable, cocoa is bankable and of course Africa is bankable.”