AfreximBank, FDH Bank Plc sign US$15 million medium term loan facility agreement

FDH Bank’s George Chitera (right) signing the deal at the AfrixemBank AGM

* Through the business deal, FDH Bank will increase its capacity to structure complex trade finance solutions for its clients

* As a bank, we believe in our ability and potential to grow the business and to realise that potential, we also leverage on our strategic partnerships

* To strength our capacity and create bespoke financial solutions which will reshape and drive Intra and Extra Africa Trade

By Duncan Mlanjira

On the sidelines of its 31st annual general meeting held in Nassau, Bahamas, African Export-Import Bank (AfreximBank) and FDH Bank Plc signed a landmark US$15 million medium term loan facility to help reshape and drive intra and extra African trade in Malawi.


Signed on Friday, June 14 by FDH Bank Deputy Managing Director, George Chitera and AfreximBank Executive Vice-President-Global Trade Bank, Haytham El Maayergi, the business deal means that FDH Bank will increase its capacity to structure complex trade finance solutions for its clients.

“As a bank, we believe in our ability and potential to grow the business,”Chitera said. “To realise that potential, we also leverage on our strategic partnerships with AfreximBank and other like-minded institutions to strength our capacity and create bespoke financial solutions which will reshape and drive Intra and Extra Africa Trade.

“This US$15 million medium term loan facility is one of the major steps towards that goal,” said the Deputy Managing Director.

In November 2023, FDH Bank also signed a ground-breaking Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX) facility agreement valued at $10 million that is reshaping the landscape of procurement of strategic supplies for the economy and it was the first of its kind in southern Africa.

The AfreximBank AGMs have become renowned as a uniquely multi-faceted event that cuts across the private and public sector with unmissable conferencing, deal-making, lobbying, entertainment and more and this year’s formed a global Africa’s greatest gathering.

The momentous event saw over a thousand attendees including African/Caribbean leaders and senior government officials, African and non-African policymakers, corporate and business leaders, bankers, entrepreneurs, academics and other thought leaders — with over 60 speakers.

The main plenary started off with a one-minute silence as a mark of respect to honour the souls of the late Vice-President Saulos Chilima and 8 others, who died in the tragic plane crash last week.

AfreximBank is the foremost Pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra and extra-African trade and at the AGM, the FDH Bank Deputy Managing Director, Chitera also made a presentation during a panel discussion titled; ‘Unlocking the Opportunities to African Trade and Finance through Africa Trade Gateway (ATG) platform’.

The ATG is one portal that gives access to digital platforms such as customer due diligence platform, the Pan-African payment & settlement system (PAPSS), a scheme that enables payment for intra-African trade in national currencies — the Tradar Club, a network for international businesses aimed at fostering growth in Africa.

It is also an e-commerce platform of the Africa trade exchange and ATG Connect, which provides freight and logistics connectivity solutions.

During the discussion, Chitera told the gathering that digital transactions and small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been key to the bank’s growth, adding that SME banking continues to be FDH Bank’s focal point as a growth engine, evidenced by annual growth for the past years.

Chitera making his presentation

“As pioneers of ATG in Malawi, the service came as an opportunity for the bank that champions growth and took it as a great avenue for growth since it enables the bank better deliver on its mandate by providing critical services to support and promote African trade and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“The Bank aspires to stay committed by supporting SMEs and reaffirms its commitment to providing cutting-edge digital solutions in response to the growing importance of e-commerce in Malawi and beyond,” he said.

When the benefits of the ATEX facility were unwrapped during a business session with SMEs and corporate companies in March, entrepreneur, Sunduzwayo Jere — who trades in agro-business under the brand Emba-Agro Limited, applauded the initiative, saying it is such a great opportunity for Malawian traders to embrace.

“This is indeed a landmark business deal for us as it is instant through digital means that identifies trade markets for us outside the country while also securing us an opportunity for trade finances.

“The beauty part of it is that it is collateral on its own as FDH Bank will facilitate the trade once a market has been identified and it is a huge opportunity towards earning the much-needed forex for the country.”

Sunduzwayo Jere

Thus Jere urged Malawians to embrace this great opportunity in that the business community will shift from trading with 20 million people of this country to more millions across Africa.

The ATEX is a global marketplace platform that will ensure convenient and transparent trade by connecting verified Malawian exporters and importers that will ultimately enhancing trade efficiency and reducing costs — and is touted to reshape the landscape of agricultural procurement in the Southern African region.

In his presentation during the session with SMEs and the corporate companies, FDH Bank’s Managing Director, Noel Mkulichi explained that ATEX is a platform connected within the digital ecosystem, supporting the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement as well as through the Intra African Trade Fair (IATF).

Mkulichi during the meeting with SMEs and corporate companies

The stakeholders at the meetings FDH Bank held were appraised of the benefits that the sponsorship to ATEX will ensure that includes:

* Access to the platform’s verified suppliers and buyers and discover different products from all over Africa including supplier and buyer verification and matching;

* Access to a trusted platform that offers access to competitive rates due to economies of scale reached through consolidated negotiations with sellers and services providers;

* Access to real time information on pricing, product data and seasonality;

* Access to simplified quota information and management with clear guidelines for importers and exporters;

* Preferential access to foreign currency products through the ATEX foreign currency facility — among others.

Mkulichi emphasised that “as a bank that champions growth, we look at this as a great avenue for growth for your businesses and the country at large. The MW2063 aims to transform Malawi into a wealthy and self-reliant industralised upper-middle-income country by year 2063 and we believe with these strides and continuous innovation, we can achieve this goal.”


Representing Afreximbank was Annierose Ngemu, who is Senior manager of digital marketing finance solutions-global trade for Southern and Eastern Africa as well as the Caribbean — who attested that the platform is the gateway of economic system for the continent.

She added that it deals with banking partners of the African countries to provide a platform for business sectors to an opportunity of connecting with other countries across the continent and the Caribbean.

The Malawi Stock Exchange-listed FDH Bank is also a key partner of the Intra African Trade Fair (IATF), whose next edition will take place in Algeria in 2025 with the previous one hosted in Egypt in 2023 where the ATEX agreement was signed.

FDH Bank is the only Malawian company to support the continental event and was also part of the partners in the edition held in Durban, South Africa.