April 15, 2019 / 3:08 PM / a month ago

South Sudan secures $500 mln financing facility from AfreximBank

JUBA, April 15 (Reuters) - South Sudan has received a $500 million financing facility from African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) to fund power transmission, infrastructure and farming projects, it said on Monday.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest country after its split from Sudan in 2011, has some of the largest reserves of crude in sub-Saharan Africa, only a third of which have been explored so far. It is emerging from years of conflict after a peace deal in September.

“We want to help South Sudan make the investments it needs to develop,” Benedict Oramah, the bank’s president, was quoted as saying in a statement issued on behalf of the government.

“We are seeing a country beginning to rise from the ashes and offering opportunities to its people. Afreximbank will support those who want to go to South Sudan.”

Cairo-based Afreximbank, which focuses on boosting trade in and with Africa through financing, had assets of $12.46 billion in 2017, with $10.84 billion of that being loans.

It is owned by a range of shareholders including African governments and central banks.

The bank has provided another $200 million in financing to South Sudan in the previous two years, Oramah said.

Melissa Cook, the managing director of African Sunrise Partners which has clients doing business in South Sudan including banks, said the business climate had started to improve.

“It is not the easiest place to go into, but worth it,” she was quoted saying in the statement.

Reporting by Denis Dumo, Writing by Duncan Miriri, editing by Ed Osmond

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