The government of Côte d’Ivoire is currently making a concerted effort to improve access to healthcare services in the country. The plan is to refurbish existing facilities and build new ones. This is of particular urgency, given the pandemic situation as well as to align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 31 (SDG) concerning good health and well-being.
One of the main areas of focus is the improvement of neonatal health. According to UNICEF, the Côte d'Ivoire’s mortality rate of children from 0 to 28 days remains high and is often associated with the lack of quality care at birth and in the first few days of life.2
Towards this, the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire engaged Standard Chartered, the country’s leading foreign bank, to execute a EUR 159 million financing facility for the refurbishment of maternity wards in 62 hospitals in 24 of the Côte d'Ivoire’s regions and the autonomous district of Abidjan. The refurbishment includes electricity power upgrades, improved IT and data connection, potable water and storage, and installing fire safety systems and equipment in the maternity wards, delivered by a leading contractor active in Middle East and Africa.
Enabling long-term capital investment for critical infrastructure development in sub-Saharan Africa
The transaction facilitates long-term capital expenditures in necessary medical infrastructure development in sub-Saharan Africa by using the Export Credit Agency (ECA) structure. The cost of this capital is a fraction of the cost of commercial capital otherwise available to African countries.
Deal structure- ECA – backed financing structure
While Standard Chartered is the sole mandated lead arranger and structuring bank for the deal, the transaction is further supported by the ECAs of Denmark, EKF Danmarks Eksportkredit (EKF) and Poland Korporacja Ubezpieczén Kredytów Eksportowych (KUKE).
Standard Chartered’s role
Standard Chartered structured the deal as a one-window solution for the financing required. This includes managing the entire execution of the transaction to draft a bespoke financing agreement, proposing the most efficient solution to finance the commercial contract. This also includes consulting on the key financing terms with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire. Standard Chartered also liaised with the ECAs on their support for the contract and compliance with their internal processes.
The bank’s advice to the contractor, based in the Middle East, was critical to win the approval of the ECAs and assistance in structuring the deal to make it eligible for support by EKF and KUKE. This also helped in minimising the borrower’s ultimate costs.
Furthermore, Standard Chartered worked closely with the ECAs and the contractor to ensure compliance with environmental and social laws across all sites.
This deal between the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the contractor and the ECAs of Denmark and Poland highlights Standard Chartered’s commitment in enabling nations in Africa, the Middle East and Asia to reach their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.