The United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has pledged more funding for the growth and development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME’s) in Africa.
The General Managing Director, UBA, Mr Kennedy Uzoka disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at the opening of the UBA Market Place.
The UBA Market Place is an entrepreneurial fair, with exhibitors from 20 African countries, taking place on the sidelines of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum.
Uzoka said that the bank had made specific initiatives to make SMEs more viable and better established across Africa with a view to stimulating and deepening the economy of the continent.
“We bank a lot of customers across the continent and in doing that we have discovered that there is a gap in the business value chain.
“That void we discovered is how to bring more buyers and sellers together and that is what we have done today.
“The UBA market place has brought together under one roof, more than 5,000 SMEs from across Africa. We want to create a platform in Africa similar to Alibaba and ebay,” he said.
Uzoka said that Africa’s youth were full of ideas that could change the standard of living and reduce poverty on the continent and that was why the bank was passionate about supporting SMEs.
Also, the UBA Group Head, Retail Banking, Mr Jude Anele said that 10 per cent of the bank’s total balance sheet has been earmarked to support SMEs in countries where the bank operates in Africa.
The countries are Nigeria, Chad, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Congo Brazzaville, France, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, and Mali.
The other countries are Sierra Leone, Zambia, Cameroon, Congo DRC, Gabon, Mozambique and Tanzania.
In Nigeria, Anele revealed that about N50 billion had been set aside from the bank’s portfolio for SMEs financing.