The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said all African financial institutions must collectively pursue the task of ensuring the transformation of trade in Africa.
The Afreximbank’s Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking, Amr Kamel said it is imperative financial institutions support Afreximbank’s quest to facilitate African trade.
Kamel, who spoke during a road show in Lagos, organised by Afreximbank for financial institutions to introduce the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme (AFTRAF), was represented by Ademola Adeyinka, Consultant on Financial Institutions/Trade Finance.
He said “we understand African trade better than any other institution. We were set up by African governments under a Charter that has been signed to by 50 countries. 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”.
Kamel revealed Nigeria was a key market for Afreximbank. He said “Afreximbank has provided over $17billion in credit facility to the Nigerian economy since its inception. Currently we have over $4 billion in loans that are still running”.
He added that “we have invested on-lending facility to financial institutions, supported transportation, hospitality, manufacturing, agro-allied, oil and gas, power, and telecommunications. Afreximbank is eager to do more in Nigeria and we are very enthusiastic to work with the banks here and I can assure you that we have solutions to most of your funding needs”.
According to Kamel, Afreximbank came up with AFTRAF in order to create opportunity for Africa to bridge the trade finance gap with the rest of the world. He also noted that the initiative would create the opportunity for African banks to enhance and complement existing trade finance lines with international financial institutions.
So far, Kamel notes that over 200 African banks have been brought onboard, but Afreximbank is looking to bring 700 onboard before the end of 2019.
He said 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.