The Brief: Afreximbank Signs Euro 100 Million Agreement With the Nordic Investment Bank, Nigerian Mushroom Production to Produce $4 Billion Yearly


The Nordic Investment Bank and the African Export-Import Bank Sign Euro 100 Million Infrastructure Plan

Global financial institution, Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed a loan agreement of Euro 100 million lasting for 10 years. The loan will support infrastructure projects within Africa in areas such as energy, telecom, industrial parks, roads, railways and harbours. In addition, the NIB will back other activities that involve service and equipment exportation from the Nordic and Baltic nations.

Henrik Normann, NIB President and CEO, offered a statement about this new loan programme. He said, “We are pleased to announce our cooperation with Afreximbank in facilitating investments in African countries. Providing long-term capital to projects of mutual interest supports innovation and environmental protection.”

Expressing the potential of this partnership for sustained African infrastructure development, Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking at Afreximbank stated, “The facility will enhance Afreximbank’s capacity to implement our current strategy, which prioritises industrialisation and export development, by providing medium to long-term financing for trade, enabling infrastructure projects in our member states. We are confident that the facility will have a significant impact on the African continent in terms of industrial development.”

Mr Kamel has high hopes for this cross-continental collaboration. He said, “We are delighted that the Nordic Investment Bank has chosen to partner with us in the pursuit of Africa’s industrialisation and export development. This collaboration will contribute to fostering sustainable economic growth and development in Africa, among other development outcomes.”

Nigerian Mushroom Production to Bolster Economic Growth by $4 Billion

Recently, The National Mushroom Association of Nigeria (NAMAN) revealed that Nigeria has the potential to make $4 billion and produce 50,000 more jobs per annum through mushroom production as well as trade, helping 50 million families overcome poverty.

Addressing some difficulties that may hinder Nigeria’s use of mushrooms, the National President of NAMAN Chief Michael Awunor said that problematic pricing, consumption levels and finance availability slow the growth and harvesting of the legume.

None the less, he continued on a more positive note. Aware that mushrooms are a common commodity in foreign countries, he encouraged Nigeria to tap into the export benefits of mushrooms. In a telephone interview with The Guardian Nigeria, Mr Awunor listed the multiple advantages of using the vegetable. “Apart from the foreign earnings our country starts to gain, mushrooms could as well be used for the clean-up of an oil spill environment, especially, the clean-up of Ogoniland,” he said.

For Nigeria, a vitamin B rich vegetable with antioxidant properties has far-reaching consequences for both the economy and society.

African Fashion Week Prepares Transfixing 2018 Show

West Africa will host its own Fashion Week this autumn. Now in its fifth year, African Fashion Week Nigeria (AWFN) was a product of Africa Fashion Week London. The platform captures the continent’s bold and vibrant designs. This year’s shows will feature various designers from different African countries including, Jazzeffect Designs (Nigeria), F&F Afro Fashion House (Cameroon) and Bushai Weave (Ghana).

African fashion is evolving continuously. Fashion-trend enthusiasts do not have to look far to notice the increasing global presence of prints and patterns reminiscent of Africa. Global and renown luxury brands such as Burberry have been inspired by African clothing designs.

AWFN takes place from 15-16 September at Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria.

Sierra Leone’s Ecofest to Host West African Festival

Sierra Leone will host Ecofest, a West African music festival on November 16th. Based at the National Stadium in Freetown, the festival features performers from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, Liberia and Ghana.

Produced by Sierra Leone label Kabaka Multimedia Entertainment and established by Abubakar Turay, and Ghana’s Empire Entertainment, the show is culturally and socially important bringing together performers from different corners of Africa who carry their own stories but are united by a shared passion for music. As a nation, Sierra Leone is creating its own music narrative by showcasing local artists.

Proud that Sierra Leone is welcoming acts from five African countries, Abubakar Turay said, “Ecofest can pass as a reloaded version of Ghana Meets Naija and every artist brought in is a household name in the continent and the subregion.”