The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group has signed a major trade finance framework agreement with the Republic of Djibouti. The signing took place between ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol and the Minister of Finance H.E. Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, during the official visit of the ITFC delegation to the country. The signing was preceded by a high-level meeting between the CEO and the President of the Republic of Djibouti Mr Ismaïl Omar Guelleh.
Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol commented that, “The framework agreement mobilises financial resources of up to $600 million over three years for the government of Djibouti’s strategic sectors. These include the import of critical energy commodities such as petroleum products; and the development of the private sector through strategic partnerships with local financial institutions to support SMEs.
“The framework agreement would also focus on the establishment of capacity building programmes that will draw upon the proven expertise of other OIC member countries in refined petroleum products aimed at improving trade flows in and out of the country,” added Sonbol.
The capacity building programme is envisaged to support Djibouti’s ambition to become an energy trading hub in East Africa by increasing domestic petroleum storage and refining capabilities.
Commenting, The President of the Republic of Djibouti Mr Ismaïl Omar Guelleh said, “There is a need for increased awareness on the importance and advantages of Islamic finance within the banking sector in Djibouti, particularly as a viable means to fund important sectors in the country such as energy, tourism and maritime. Investing in our workforce through capacity building and knowledge transfer will give rise to greater stability and progress whilst tackling poverty and youth unemployment. Moreover, increased regional cooperation is required as the country’s infrastructure investment needs rise. By drawing on ITFC’s expertise and experience in driving socio-economic transformation in the region, we can create greater prosperity and a brighter future for the people of Djibouti.”
Since 2008, ITFC has provided total financing of $650 million to the Republic of Djibouti to support the country’s energy sector. During this period, ITFC has become a strong partner with the Government of Djibouti in supporting the country’s national development goals.