Africa: Afreximbank Says Transformation of African Trade is Task for All African Financial Institutions

Oct 31, 2018 | Africa Export-Import Bank; All Africa

Cairo — The transformation of trade in Africa is a task that all African financial institutions must collectively pursue as major stakeholders in the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in its quest to facilitate African trade, Amr Kamel, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking, said in Dar es Salam on Thursday.

Speaking during a roadshow organized by Afreximbank for financial institutions to introduce the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme (AFTRAF), Mr. Kamel, who was represented by Ademola Adeyinka, Consultant on Financial Institutions/Trade, said that Afreximbank was in a strong position to support African trade and African financial institutions and that it wanted African banks to see it as their partner of choice in international financing.

"We understand African trade better than any other institution," he said. "We were set up by African governments under a Charter that has been signed to by 50 countries, including Tanzania. We have a good credit rating that African financial institutions can leverage on and we have the ears of 50 African heads of state. That allows us to better understand the issues in each country, support the countries in finding solutions to trade finance challenges and resolve issues that may arise easier".

Mr. Kamel emphasized that Tanzania was a key market for Afreximbank and that the Bank would want to do more transactions in the country. He explained that Afreximbank came up with AFTRAF in order to create opportunity for Africa to bridge the trade finance gap with the rest of the world, which had continued to grow. It was also to create the opportunity for African banks to enhance and complement existing trade finance lines with international financial institutions.

Mr. Kamel said that, to address the challenges, Afreximbank would leverage its credit rating and supranational status to de-risk the perceived risks and unlock capital to support trade finance business in Africa.

He announced that Afreximbank has onboarded about 170 African banks and that the target was to onboard 700 banks by the end of 2019. The Bank was also in the process of appointing some African banks as Trade Finance Intermediaries which would allow such banks to act as local administrative agents for transactions involving Afreximbank in their markets. He encouraged Tanzanian banks to take advantage of the opportunity by sending in their customer due diligence and know your customer (CDD/KYC) documents in order to be onboarded.

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Source: All Africa