Africa should create an environment that promotes trade and investment in order to allow its economies to grow, Olavo Correia, Cape Verde Minister of Finance, has said.
Speaking at a closing ceremony for a series of events dubbed the Advanced Structured Trade Finance Seminar and Workshops last week, the Minister stated that Cape Verde was already working to solve challenges posed by transportation, which he cited as one of the key barriers to effective regional trade.
“Our continent needs to grow in order fight the problems we have, such as poverty, and we must speed up the transformation if we want to see results,” said Mr. Correia in an address at the event, which was organized by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
“There is no economic growth without trade and we must work to provide a political, economic and social environment in order to reinforce regional exchanges,” he added.
Highlighting the importance of intra-African trade, he stated that Cape Verde was developing increased maritime and air links and was aiming to become a major transport hub serving the African continent by developing excellent links to Africa, Europe, North America and South America, the Finance Minister said.
That development would not be possible without the help of Afreximbank, which has opened new lines of credit, helped with pre-financing and was providing other tools to Cape Verde, he said.
Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking, Afreximbank, commended Cape Verde for hosting the Advanced Structured Trade Finance Seminar and Workshops and enjoined the participants to put into practice what they had learnt when they returned to their stations.
Several speakers from Africa, Europe and Asia highlighted Africa’s potential and said that that potential could be realized through increased intra-African trade and diversification away from commodities.
The event, the 17th in the annual series, was attended by more than 200 high-profile participants, including chief executive officers, managing directors and senior managers representing banks, other financial institutions, and entities involved in promoting trade. About 1,800 finance professionals have taken part in the seminars and workshops since they were introduced.