Ethiopia and Nigeria’s central banks have reportedly exchanged an estimated $100 million in frozen funds.
The currency swap entails trading Ethiopian Airlines’ revenues from Nigeria for Dangote Cement’s earnings in Ethiopia.
The swap arrangement allows Ethiopia to receive access to monies that have been frozen in Nigerian banks, while Nigeria gains access to funds that have been frozen in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Airlines is Nigeria’s largest foreign carrier, with significant flight networks connecting key cities such as Lagos, Abuja, and Kano.
The airline is said to benefit from high demand from Nigerians travelling overseas, but most of its money has been banned as the country battles with chronic shortages of foreign exchange, making switching an option alternative.
For more than a decade, Dangote Cement, arguably Africa’s largest cement producers has been a prominent player in Ethiopia’s building sector. The enterprise can generate 2.5 million tonnes of cement each year.