Addis Abeba – Akobo Minerals (Euronext Oslo – “AKOBO”), the Scandinavian-based Ethiopian gold exploration and mining company, on 21 February announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ethiopian commercial bank, Oromia Bank.
Under the terms of the MOU, Akobo Minerals and Oromia Bank, as leaders in their respective fields, will cooperate to develop domestic services related to financing new exploration and mining projects, in accordance with international standards. Together, these services can support the advancement of Ethiopia’s domestic mining industry.
Through their collaboration, Akobo Minerals and Oromia Bank hope to become the leading industry mining partner offering operational and financial services, respectively, for new ventures and projects in Ethiopia. Significantly, this co-operation goes beyond general corporate funding facilities and will also encompass community funding opportunities and the rollout of services to rural areas which do not presently have access to modern financial technologies and services.
Jørgen Evjen, CEO of Akobo Minerals, stated: “By bringing our combined mining and banking competences and experience to the table, I believe we can together offer substantial and innovative services that can further the development of the Ethiopian mining industry and local communities.”
He added: “This agreement follows our corporate objective of doing business locally and supporting the Ethiopian banking industry to become competitive in its own backyard against foreign financial institutions.”
Faysel Yassin, Chief Officer, corporate banking and international trade at Oromia Bank, said: “We are impressed with the endeavor and commitment that Akobo Minerals has shown in building a strategic model for both national and regional success. Our own philosophy mirrors theirs and is why we are sure that by working together we can do great things for other mining companies that want to succeed in Ethiopia.”
In the coming months, Akobo Minerals and Oromia Bank will work together to put in place the aspects necessary to build a range of ground-breaking Ethiopian mining services, as set out in the MOU. However, the commitment of the parties to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of the MOU does not constitute a legally binding agreement.
Separate to the domestic mining services MOU, Akobo Minerals is also in negotiations with Oromia Bank to agree a corporate funding package. This will be used to underpin a range of future activities including local community-based environment, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, as well as capital requirements to support Akobo’s mining operations before the end of 2022. Further details will be made available once any final agreement is reached. Dispatch