The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced that it will disburse about $25 billion in support of intra-African trade during the next five years ending in 2021. This is part of the bank’s Intra-African Trade Strategy launched in 2016 in anticipation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Benedict Oramah, President of the Bank who said that the Strategy drew inspiration from the African Union’s Action Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade and the Accelerated Industrial Development in Africa made this known during a special luncheon for heads of states and delegates attending the signing of the agreement for the launch of the AfCFTA.
According to the President of Afreximbank, this is part of Afreximbank’s plan as it sought to contribute to providing end-to-end and comprehensive solutions to smoothen the conduct of cross-border trade and investment activities across Africa. The signing of the AfCFTA agreement promises to build a solid foundation for prosperity for all Africans.
“Afreximbank is, therefore, prepared, willing and able to play its role to make sure that opportunities created by the history-making step taken by African leaders are fully realized,” said Dr. Oramah
According to Dr. Oramah, as part of the Intra-African trade Strategy, Afreximbank had opened credit lines amounting to $800 million to 55 banks across Africa in order to facilitate the confirmation of letters of credit in support of intra-African trade. The Bank’s goal was to extend such lines to at least 500 banks in all African countries by 2021 in order to significantly reduce the cost of intra-African trade finance and to counter the constraints posed by country risks.
The President further added that the inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair, which the Bank was organizing in collaboration with the African Union in Cairo from 11 to 17 December, would attract more than 1,000 exhibitors and bring in some 70,000 visitors.
Afreximbank is also on the verge of launching an Intra-African Trade Platform that would facilitate the clearing and settlement of intra-African trade transactions in African currencies and significantly reduce the use of hard currencies in the settlement of such trade.
What you didn’t know about Afreximbank
Afrexim Bank is the foremost Pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting African trade.
It was established under two basic constitutive instruments which are the agreement signed by the member states and multilateral organizations, which gives the bank the status of an international multilateral organization and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations.
The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.
Afrexim Bank commenced operations on 30 September 1994, following the signature of a headquarters agreement with the host government in August 1994. Since 1994, it has approved more than 51 billion dollars in credit facilities for African businesses, including about 10.3 billion dollars in 2016. Afreximbank has total assets of 9.4 billion dollars as at April 30, 2016.
The bank is based in Cairo, Egypt and it is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch).
Countries currently on the list of Afreximbank participating and shareholding states include Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, and Lesotho. Others are Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.