International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) announces major trade initiatives at 2018 Rebranding Africa Forum

PRESS OFFICE: Djembe Communications

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, has announced several major initiatives during a special event sponsored by ITFC at the fifth edition of the Rebranding Africa Forum (RAF) being held in Burkina Faso from 5-6 October 2018.  

The high-level event was attended by several African heads of states as well as ministers and dignitaries from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region including the president of Burkina Faso, H.E. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, the president of Niger, H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, the president of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the minister of economy, finance and development of Burkina Faso, H.E. Hadizatou Rosine Coulibaly Sori, amongst others.

The first announcement was for a US$1.5bn framework agreement between the Government of Burkina Faso and ITFC. As part of the agreement, ITFC will contribute to mobilising financial resources to finance the export of agricultural commodities such as cotton and the import of agricultural inputs and foodstuff, as well as energy commodities such as crude oil and refined petroleum products. It will also finance the extension of lines of financing to local banks to support local SMEs and the implementation of capacity building programs for the strategic sectors of the national economy.

Speaking during the occasion, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO, said: “Burkina Faso is ITFC’s top beneficiary in sub-Saharan Africa and we have since forged a solid relationship with the government to create an exemplary portfolio of operations that we can replicate in other countries. Our financing will no doubt go a long way in complementing the IsDB Group support for the country covering many sectors necessary for the country’s national development. The unique nature of our intervention remains as the integrated approach we adopt entails both trade financing and trade capacity development.”

The second announcement was the launch of the West Africa SMEs Programme aimed at improving access to trade finance for SMEs in eight West African countries. The programme has been designed to bridge the substantial trade finance gap at the SME level within the region by providing financing lines, capacity building and advisory services to partner banks and SMEs in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) nations, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. A pilot project will be implemented in Burkina Faso followed by Senegal.

With a vision to be the bank of reference for SMEs and SMIs in Africa, and a strong presence in presence in seven WAEMU nations, Coris Bank International (CBI SA), has been selected by ITFC as the pilot bank to implement the West Africa SME Programme. This programme will consist of the deployment of assistance to CBI SA to adapt and modernise its tools and its lending processes to further increase access to credit for SMEs. The programme will also support SMES through capacity development with the aim to increase their bankability.

“The programme was designed to support the West African SME sector by creating integration between business development and trade finance. As the backbone of the region’s emerging economy, these SMEs require improved access to finance now more than ever, and Islamic trade finance has a significant role to play. We are confident that the programme will help enhance the utilisation of trade finance instruments placed at West African banks for SMEs,” said Eng. Sonbol.

In addition to CBI SA, key partners in the implementation of the West Africa SMEs Program include SMEs support institutions as well as various content providers for modules and tools and implementing agencies.

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About the International Islamic Trade and Finance Corporation (ITFC): 

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) ( is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the purpose of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commenced operations in January 2008 (Muharram 1429H), ITFC has since consolidated all trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. Earning the A1 rating by Moody’s reflects the Corporation’s efficiency in service delivery by responding swiftly to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.

Since 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$40.2bn of trade financing to OIC member countries, making the corporation the leading provider of trade solutions for OIC member countries’ needs. With a mission of being a catalyst for trade development among OIC member countries and beyond, the corporation helps entities in member countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.

About Coris Bank International (CBI SA):

Coris Bank International (CBI SA) ( is a subsidiary of the West African Financial Group Coris Holding. CBI SA is a Burkinabe private universal bank with a share capital of CFAF 32bn and listed on the WAEMU Regional Stock Exchange (BRVM). With a vision to be the reference bank in the support of SMEs/SMIs in Africa, CBI SA has managed in less than 10 years of existence to become a market leader in Burkina Faso.

Maintaining and consolidating its quality standards throughout its network coupled with its continued growth has enabled CBI SA to obtain numerous national and international awards and to get the BBB+ rating of the West African Rating Agency (WARA).

CBI SA’s expertise served as a benchmark for the development of the Group Coris in the sub-region through its presence in seven WAEMU countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.