African Development Bank, partners, launch E-Learning Program for African Financial Institutions in Africa

Oct 29, 2018 | African Development Bank (AfDB)

Five hundred trade finance staff of 200 local partner banks in 35 African countries to be trained over a three-year period

The Trade Finance Division of the African Development Bank and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), have teamed up with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to launch a Joint AfDB-ITFC Trade Finance E-Learning Program for African Financial Institutions. This program will provide online post-training to about 500 trade finance staff of 200 local partner banks in more than 35 African countries over a three-year period. Part of the program will be funded by German international cooperation agencies (BMZ/GIZ) under the MFW4A Trade Finance Initiative, which aims to improve the understanding of the trade finance market in Africa, and promote sound financial sector policy, regulatory reforms and joint thematic research.

The initial phase of the program will deliver the Global Trade Certificate (GTC), a nine e-courses curriculum designed to sell, deliver and process global trade finance solutions, including Islamic (Trade) Finance courses. The Global Trade Certificate (GTC) is offered by the ICC Academy, the educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce. The partnership has two objectives. Firstly, it will help local partner banks to strengthen their trade finance capacity, required to extend superior services to SMEs and local businesses clientele engaged in international trade. Secondly, it is expected that the partner banks experiment and introduce more sophisticated trade finance products in line with the evolution of the market and the needs of their clients, including in the area of Islamic finance.

The skills acquired will contribute to reduce operational risks inherent in trade finance, to access untapped markets, diversify the product portfolios and improve the perception that global banks have about the capacity of local African banks to manage trade finance transactions. Ultimately, the program will increase the volume of lending and contribute to reduce the trade finance gap, estimated at US$1.5 trillion with almost US$120 billion in Africa. Leveraging trade as a catalyst for economic development can only be possible if Multilateral Development Banks work together alongside commercial banks, both at the financing and capacity levels.

According to a recent survey conducted by African Development Bank, one of the major constraints African banks face in growing their trade businesses is inadequate staff capacity in trade finance. In this context, the beneficiary banks must possess the requisite infrastructure and skills required to absorb further financing, compete globally and capture the diversity and appetite of clientele for various products. The training program is being implemented within the context of the Bank’s and ITFC strategic priorities to promote financial inclusion, private sector development and integrated trade solutions. The International Chamber of Commerce via its education arm has a groundbreaking e-learning platform for trade finance practitioners. It delivers online certification and professional development services to meet the educational needs of banks, corporates, and other organizations at the forefront of international trade.

About the AfDB Trade Finance Program (TFP)

The program seeks to reduce the trade finance gap in Africa by “crowding in” global banks and strengthening local Africa Financial Institutions that are critical to the promotion of trade on the continent. To this end, greater emphasis is placed on the promotion of regional integration and intra-Africa trade. The TFP offers a wholesale approach to trade finance through the provision of risk mitigation facilities and liquidity support. The program complements the Bank’s High 5” strategic priorities namely “power and light up Africa”, “feed Africa”, “industrialize Africa”, “integrate Africa” and “improve the quality of the life of the people of Africa” as well as its Financial Sector Development Strategy.

About MFW4A

The Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A) was established as a platform for financial sector development research, advocacy, knowledge management and networking. It brings together African governments, development partners, the private sector, and other stakeholders to address financial sector development priorities on the continent. Our partners (AFDB, AFD, EIB, GIZ and the Ministry of Netherlands) share a common vision of innovation, robust and competitive African financial systems, providing near-universal access by 2030, and offering a full range of products and services for the continent’s real sector.

About ITFC

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the purpose of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Since 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$40.2 billion of trade financing to OIC Member Countries, making the Corporation the leading provider of trade solutions for OIC Member Countries’ needs.

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