News: Dashen Bank secures $40 million loan to drive agricultural exports

The agricultural sector in Ethiopia employs 80% of the population while generating 90% of the country’s foreign currency through exports (Photo:

Addis Abeba – Dashen Bank, one of Ethiopia’s largest private financial institutions, has secured a $40 million loan from the British International Investment (BII) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank. In a joint press release issued by the financial institutions, it was stated that the loan will play a crucial role in driving agricultural exports and providing much-needed access to foreign exchange in Ethiopia.

With the agricultural sector employing 80% of the population and generating 90% of the country’s foreign currency through exports, this loan is expected to have a significant impact. By enabling Dashen Bank to offer USD-denominated loans for the expenses associated with importing machinery, the loan is expected to support farmers in increasing productivity across various areas like harvesting, logistics, and processing, ultimately leading to a boost in export earnings.

“The forex-denominated financing will enable Dashen Bank to support export-oriented agribusinesses,” explained Asfaw Alemu, CEO of Dashen Bank. Serving over 5 million customers and boasting a network of more than 800 branches spread throughout the country, Dashen Bank is one of Ethiopia’s largest private banks.

Stephen Priestley, Managing Director and Head of Financial Services at BII, emphasized the significance of the partnership with FMO and Dashen Bank. He described it as a vital part of a mobilization plan that aims to unlock untapped opportunities for commercial investment in Ethiopia’s financial services sector in the years ahead.

BII, the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, has investments in over 1,300 businesses in emerging economies, with total assets of £7.7 billion. In Ethiopia, BII’s investment portfolio was valued at $110 million in 2021, with key investments including Safaricom Ethiopia, Family Milk, and SGI Ethiopia Growth and Transformation Fund.

FMO is a globally recognized bilateral private sector development bank operating across 85 countries with a portfolio of €13 billion. AS

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