The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has partnered with the African Union to create a digital ecosystem that will eliminate the major bottlenecks to trade finance flows within Africa.
The development was announced by the Bank President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, while delivering an address at the IGD Frontier 100 Forum, organised by the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington D.C.
Oramah said one of the major constraints to intra-African trade was lack of information to support intra-regional trade and investments. He stated that the issue is the reason why many African countries were importing products from outside the continent while neighboring countries were exporting the same products at a much lower cost.
According to Oramah, “it was to address that challenge that Afreximbank and the African Union were working to use digital technology to improve access to trade information and facilitate the use of African national currencies via intra African trade settlements”.
The Bank’s President noted that Afreximbank was developing a focused programme to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the continent, recognising that SMEs were a vital component to unlocking intra-African potential.
He revealed that IGD has been facilitating discourse on important African issues over the years and said that Afreximbank identified with the efforts and achievements of the IGD, hence its close partnership with the initiative.
The Chief Executive Officer of IGD, Leila Ndiaye, said the initiative’s work was aimed at supporting Africa’s growth and development agenda and at pushing to unlock intra-African trade through SME growth and development.