Guyana in talks with Afreximbank for US$500M bridge financing for infrastructure projects

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Guyanese officials are currently in talks with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) for a US$500 million bridge financing that can be used to fund the government’s massive infrastructure programme. President Dr. Irfaan Ali made this revelation during the opening ceremony of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum at the Marriott Hotel on October 30. 

During his keynote address, the head of state said the Afreximbank offers the Caribbean region a golden opportunity to secure financing needed to help unleash the respective potential of each nation. Ali said Guyana is pushing to uplift the standard of living for its people while increasing its economic resilience and financial agility. Hence, he explained that it is holding meetings with the bank.

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“Prof. Benedict O. Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afrieximbank and his team worked with my minister of finance [Dr. Ashni Singh] and his team throughout yesterday and almost into the morning. And as I was coming in, negotiations were still taking place about the possibility of signing a bridge financing to support our massive infrastructure transformation,” the head of state said.

President Ali said this bold move by the financial institution to step up to the challenge of helping African and Caribbean nations diversify their borrowing streams must be celebrated. Quite often, the Guyanese leader said, the region fails to acknowledge that it can craft solutions to many of the problems it faces. That failure, he said, must end now, for through meaningful collaboration, much can be achieved. 

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The head of state was also keen to acknowledge the stellar leadership of Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, who he said was the chief architect in channeling the Afreximbank into the Caribbean’s direction to break the heavy dependence on Western lenders.

“…She has led from the front. She has approached the challenge of mobilizing financing… she made and spent a lot of time making the connection with Africa, renewing the bond and allowing us this opportunity where we have the Afreximbank deploying US$1.5 billion to this region,” Ali said.

He said these efforts must be recognized, adding that it is now incumbent on stakeholders to maximize the benefits of the emerging opportunities for growth and development.

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