Jeddah, Saudi Arabia The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, signed a US$75 million Syndicated Murabaha Financing agreement on Sunday, Feb 21st 2016 with the Government of Senegal, with Suneor (the major player in the Senegalese groundnut sector) as Executing Agency. . The signing ceremony took place at the headquarters of the ITFC in Jeddah. The agreement was signed by H.E. Mr. Amadou Ba, Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning and the IDB Governor for Senegal, and Mr. Mahanna Sobieh, GM Treasury and Officer-in-Charge, ITFC.
This agreement aims at financing a significant part of the 2015-2016 groundnut campaign. ITFC previously provided US$ 30 million facility to the Government of Senegal and Suneor for financing the 2013/2014 groundnut season. The new US$75 million financing will allow Suneor to purchase and process more than 150,000 tons of groundnuts into groundnut oil and cake (animal feed) to be exported to international markets. Following a good rainy season, the total output for the country for the 2015-2016 season is expected to be exceptional and reach 1,000,000 tons.
From his end, H.E. Mr. Amadou Ba, Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning thanked ITFC for its cooperation highlighting the importance of ITFCs financing operations for the Government of Senegal, especially for the key agriculture and energy sectors. He said, The Groundnut sector in Senegal is currently under restructuring and we are expecting a high yield for Groundnut this year, and this financing will play an important role to support this years groundnut season. Under the Senegal Emerging Plan, the country is positioning itself as a trade hub in West Africa and ITFCs support is important to help realize this plan.
From his side, Mr. Mahanna Sobieh stressed on ITFCs continuous dedication for the socio-economic development of Senegal. He also added ITFC is striving to align its support with other economic promotion programs, designed by ITFC Member Countries to guarantee reaching the highest developmental impact. This is clearly shown in ITFCs huge contribution in financing this deal, given the critical importance of groundnut to the socio-economic situation of the country, the Government of Senegal requested ITFC to cover part of the required funding for this groundnut season.
The Groundnut sector employs, directly and indirectly, a significant percentage (around 40%) of the population, which depends on this sector for a source of living. The social impact for the financing will consequently be significant. It will indeed boost farmers income and improve their living conditions. Growth in export will improve the country's overall export revenues and employment level, thus contributing to overall economic development and poverty alleviation.