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British International Investment (BII) and FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, have jointly committed up to USD 20 million each to Dashen Bank, one of Ethiopia’s largest private banks.

The USD 40 million loan aims to drive agricultural exports and provide much-needed foreign exchange in Ethiopia. BII and FMO are supporting Dashen Bank to bolster the country’s agriculture sector, which employs 80 percent of the population and contributes 39 percent to GDP.

“We are pleased for achieving this historic milestone,” said Asfaw Alemu, CEO of Dashen Bank. “The forex denominated financing will enable Dashen Bank to support export-oriented agribusinesses.”

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By providing capital for machinery imports, the facility will help “farmers increase productivity and boost exports earnings.” It is also expected to support business growth and innovation in flower, coffee and livestock industries.

“We are proud to be amongst the first movers in a financial market opening up to international investment with this transformative commitment,” said Stephen Priestley of BII.

The commitment makes BII and FMO among the first foreign institutions to provide long-term funding under Ethiopia’s bank intermediation directive issued in 2021.

“On top of the badly needed foreign currency, the lessons learnt through the rigorous due diligence process will help us set the bar high when it comes to sustainable financing in Ethiopia,” Asfaw added.

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