MUFG and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are pleased to announce the closing of another COVID-19 response facility covered by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI). This facility will support vaccine financing activities of Afreximbank including African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and other COVID-19 response initiatives.
This is the second facility approved by NEXI for Afreximbank. The first facility was approved in 2020 for an amount of $520 million. This support to Afreximbank is a clear demonstration of commitment from the Japanese government to help the African continent to orderly adjust to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as supporting economic resilience of the continent, including accelerating growth of Africa's health infrastructure, industrialisation and export development, in line with strategic objectives of both Afreximbank and that of the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
MUFG acted as Mandated Lead Arranger, Bookrunner, Agent, NEXI Coordinator and Global Coordinator on the $207 million facility, which was signed on 30 December 2021. The first facility of $520 million approved by NEXI and arranged by MUFG in 2020 was awarded Debt Deal of the Year at African Banker Awards 2021.
NEXI's involvement for a second time came as a result of the resounding success of this previous distribution to a new set of Japanese investors, as well as the transaction goals aligning with both Afreximbank's and NEXI's objectives of supporting sustainable African growth and development.
MUFG has a strong track record of partnering with Afreximbank to deepen the strategic relationship between Africa and Japan; in 2019, MUFG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Afreximbank to promote trade with and investment in Africa.
Christopher Marks, Head of Emerging Markets EMEA, commented:
"It is our role as a financial institution to contribute to the sustainable development of the markets in which we operate, and this is truly a testament to those ambitions.
"In line with our aspirations to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the provision of financial services, we are continuing to pioneer innovative solutions such as this one to support Africa with meeting the health challenges facing the continent."
Ankit Khandelwal, MUFG's Director of Africa Coverage, added:
"We are delighted to partner with Afreximbank and NEXI once again on such an important transaction.
"This facility was able to contribute to Africa's rebound from the global COVID-19 pandemic, and we are extremely proud of MUFG's continued success in tapping Japanese liquidity, delivering in excess of $1 billion for Afreximbank from Japanese investors in aggregate."
Atsuo Kuroda, the Chairman and CEO of NEXI, said,
"NEXI is pleased to contribute to the stable supply of vaccines in the African continent.
"This facility is in line with the endorsement made by the Japanese government at the TICAD7 held in 2019, to heighten support to the African countries through the use of private capital. NEXI will continue to solve social issues that African countries are facing."
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, commented:
"This facility – the second in a series – constitutes a show of faith in the African continent as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and will significantly bolster Afreximbank's activities financing vaccination and healthcare infrastructure on the continent.
"The Japanese government made a commitment to assist African countries to manage, and adjust to, the pandemic, and today's announcement provides yet more evidence of this in action."