African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) supported trade and investments worth $4 billion into its African member countries in 2016, the company revealed while releasing its 2016 results during its 17th Annual General Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
In Kenya, ATI which provides a range of products that mitigate risks impeding the flow of trade and investments to and within Africa, facilitated financing of trade and investments worth nearly $800 million which represents 1.2 per cent of the county’s GDP.
“This is a very significant contribution to our economy. It demonstrates real benefit because these financial flows could not have been realized without the support of ATI,” said Henry Rotich, the Cabinet Secretary of Kenya’s National Treasury.
It supported the $159 million loan for Ethiopian Airlines’ fleet expansion from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The multilateral investment insurer formed by COMESA members and the World Bank also attracted new members in 2016: the UK’s export credit agency UKEF; Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. It supported $400 million worth to trade and investments to the economies of Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.
ATI membership also includes countries in the ECOWAS region.
In Q-1 2017, ATI underwrote the first deal in a non-member country in Angola, reflecting its new pan-African mandate.
As of 2016, ATI had cumulatively supported $25 billion worth of trade
and investments since inception in 2001.
The ATI meeting discussed the decline in commodity prices and current geopolitical uncertainties with participants calling on African governments to shift focus to growing intra-African trade and diversifying their economies away from commodity reliance in order to reduce vulnerability to external shocks.
The company added, “With sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP growth rates expected to hit a record low of 1.5 per cent depressed commodity rates are seen to be one of the major drivers with export producers accounting for two-thirds of the region’s growth.”
It also revealed that foreign direct investments (FDIs) to Africa are under threat and urged African governments to address risks to investors and diversify economies to maintain growth.
ATI attributes its success to strong partnerships with African governments which recognize the company’s value to their growth and development objectives.