United Bank for Africa (UBA) has stepped up a plan to deepen ties with the regional diplomatic community amid clamor to enhance intra-African trade.
UBA Kenya recently held talks with regional diplomats to discuss collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing trade linkages, promoting economic empowerment, and advancing financial inclusion across borders in the continent.
UBA is among regional lenders seeking to facilitate international trade, providing tailored solutions to support diplomatic missions in their economic push.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to unite 1.3 billion individuals in a $3.4 trillion economic bloc, making it the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.
"UBA Kenya sees itself not just as a bank but as a catalyst for economic collaboration,” said UBA Regional CEO in charge of East and Southern Africa, Ebele Ogbue.
“Our trade solutions are designed to facilitate cross-border transactions and strengthen economic ties between nations. We are keen to support diplomatic missions in their efforts to foster international relations and drive economic growth."
UBA says it wants to facilitate international trade through cross-border transactions by leveraging its payment solutions such as UBA Africash, a payment solution that allows money transfers across 20 African countries.
Its UBA Connect, a feature of UBA accounts allows customers to make withdrawals, deposits and transfers from their accounts at any UBA location across Africa, says the lender.
UBA had recently announced its plans to expand its lending operations in Kenya, the largest economy in East Africa.
The decision came after UBA received a trade finance facility worth $150 million (Sh22.6 billion) from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), a Pan-African trade bank.
UBA said earlier that it will utilize this financial support to prioritize lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are currently facing challenges due to rising interest rates.
UBA, a prominent Nigerian bank with over 1000 branches, operates 20 subsidiaries throughout Africa, including countries like Ghana and Ivory Coast in the west, Kenya and Uganda in the east, and Mozambique and Zambia in the south.
Additionally, UBA maintains representative offices in London, Paris, and New York.
With its strong presence in these global financial hubs, UBA says it aims to foster connections between individuals and businesses across Africa through various banking services such as retail, commercial, and corporate banking, as well as innovative cross-border payments, remittances, trade finance, and ancillary banking services.