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EBRD and Bank of Africa support MSMEs and trade in Morocco

By Nibal Zgheib

Mark Bowman, EBRD Vice President, Policy and Partnerships at the signing of a €50 million credit line to Bank of Africa (BOA) in Morocco 


  • EBRD extends €50 million credit line to Bank of Africa (BOA) in Morocco
  • Facility to increase financing for MSMEs to stimulate job creation and resilience in Morocco's value chains and underserved regions 
  • €25 million limit increase to an existing trade finance line to boost international trade

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €50 million credit line to Bank of Africa - BMCE Group (BOA) for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to support the resilience and competitiveness of Morocco’s private sector 

The €50 million loan is provided under the EBRD Financial Intermediaries Framework (FIF) and will assist BOA in funding MSMEs, which remain underserved in Morocco’s banking sector.  

A segment of the loan will help finance companies operating in value chains located in Tangier and Kenitra, as well as in underserved regions to make it easier for small businesses to access finance.  

The credit line was signed by Mark Bowman, EBRD Vice President, Policy and Partnerships; Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi, Director and General Manager of Bank of Africa; and Khalid Nasr, BOA’s Executive General Manager responsible for CIB and Morocco. 

“We are pleased to sign this facility with Bank of Africa,” explained Mark Bowman. “It will support one of the EBRD’s key partners in Morocco in this challenging global economic environment, which is aggravated by the war on Ukraine, and help mitigate its impact on MSME lending. We also hope that the recently approved TFP limit increase will help address trade finance gaps and foster economic resilience in Morocco. 

BOA’s Director and General Manager, Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi said: “The signature of this €50 million facility is one of the milestones of an ever-closer partnership that we have maintained for a decade with the EBRD. We continue with our strategy of more inclusive finance, particularly regarding those who represent the bulk of the Moroccan productive fabric, namely SMEs, and remain resolute in our quest for a positive impact on our customers, our stakeholders and more generally on the environment of our activities.”

The EBRD recently increased the total trade line limit granted to Bank of Africa under its Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) from US$ 150 million to US$ 175 million. This will support BOA in issuing guarantees in favour of confirming banks and provide cash financing for pre-export, post-import financing and local distribution. It also means that BOA and its private MSME and corporate clients can continue to import a large variety of goods into Morocco.  

With this increased limit, BOA can also further support Morocco’s green economy, as it is a key contributor to the EBRD’s Green Trade Facilitation Programme, notably by sourcing transactions for scrap metal and forestry from sustainable sources. To maximise the impact of this programme, BOA will receive a comprehensive technical assistance package under the TFP framework consisting of advisory services, access to the EBRD Trade Finance e-Learning Programme, and interactive workshops on different trade finance topics. 

BOA is the third-largest bank in Morocco. The group is listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange and is present in 32 countries, including sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. It is one of the EBRD's main partners in financing SMEs in Morocco and its largest partner in supporting foreign trade. Since BOA joined the TFP, a total of 500 trade finance transactions have been supported for a cumulative volume of more than €1 billion. In 2022 the TFP supported 67 transactions for a total volume of more than €184 million. 

Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a beneficiary of Bank resources in 2012. To date, the EBRD has invested €4.2 billion in the country through 93 projects. 

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