- Media Center
- Press releases
- OPEC Fund loan to Access Bank Botswana will boost lending to women-owned businesses
OPEC Fund loan to Access Bank Botswana will boost lending to women-owned businesses
June 20, 2023: The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is partnering with Access Bank Botswana to extend financial support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Botswana through a US$20 million loan. The financing is the first private sector loan from the OPEC Fund in Botswana.
A significant portion of the funding, at least 30 percent, will be directed towards women-owned businesses and 70 percent will be provided for on-lending to local companies. The funds will help address the financing access gap experienced by many MSMEs.
Signing the agreement during the OPEC Fund Development Forum in Vienna, Austria, today OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said:
"This loan demonstrates our commitment to promoting economic growth, gender equality and financial inclusion. By empowering small businesses and women entrepreneurs, who play a significant role in Botswana’s economy, we are contributing to the resilience, inclusiveness and overall economic sustainability of the country.”
Access Bank Botswana Acting Managing Director Musonda Chishimba added:
"This partnership will enable Access Bank Botswana to deliver much-needed access to finance for small businesses, provide these businesses with trade finance solutions through tailored financial products and promote the use of digital banking channels to help accelerate the growth of SMEs across the country. Investing in SMEs the bank can drive sustainable economic growth, reduce unemployment and build a resilient economy for the future.”
The financing by the OPEC Fund aligns with multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Economic Growth) and SDG 9 (Resilience, Inclusiveness, and Sustainability). Access Bank Botswana aims to grow the percentage of women-owned businesses within its portfolio from 20 percent to 25 percent of the total MSME portfolio.
Access Bank, the parent company of Access Bank Botswana, is a Nigerian entity. Dr. Alkhalifa said: “South-South Cooperation is one of the OPEC Fund’s founding principles and core values. We are proud to further create value for one of member countries by supporting a Nigerian company to contribute to the sustainable development in a partner country of the OPEC Fund.”
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$24 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$190 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA, Outlook Positive by S&P. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.
About Access Bank Botswana
Access Bank Botswana is a full-service commercial bank in Botswana, operating through a network of nearly 20 branches and 60 ATMs. The bank provides financial solutions including a retail customer franchise and digital platform, corporate banking expertise, risk management and capital management capabilities in four business segments: retail, business, commercial and corporate, and investment banking.