Afreximbank To Increase Intra-African Trade To $250bn By 2021 | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Afreximbank To Increase Intra-African Trade To $250bn By 2021

Posted: Apr 6, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)



Chukwudi Nweje


The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it will implement a new strategy to drive industrialisation across Africa by at least 50 percent in the next five years.

In a statement on Tuesday in Johannesburg, Afreximbank said it would work with partners to ramp up trade among African countries to $250 billion from its current $170 billion by 2021.

The statement quoted Dr Benedict Oramah, president of Afreximbank, as saying the strategy would involve expanding existing trading activities within Africa’s regional economic communities and integrating informal trade into formal frameworks.

Oramah said the strategy would involve reducing trade barriers and minimising foreign exchange costs of intra-African trade.

Oramah said: “The new intra-regional trade will drive value addition in Africa and help reduce the continent’s dependence on commodities.

“It would also allow for the expansion of domestic trade value chains, thereby strengthening the capacity of African economies to resist economic shocks.

“The fact that about 40 percent of intra-African trade is done in the informal sector shows that there are institutional gaps.

“Afreximbank intends to play a significant role in reducing these barriers by promoting the emergence of export trading companies and help to resolve regulatory and policy issues through a deepening of partnerships and bilateral trade arrangements.”

According to the statement, to support the Intra-African Trade Strategy, the board of directors also approved a revised local currency programme that will allow development of yield curves via African currencies.

It said the aim was to encourage greater use of local currencies to reduce foreign exchange cost of intra-African trade transactions.

Afreximbank plans to hold a formal unveiling of the strategy during an Intra-African Trade Forum scheduled to hold in Abidjan in May.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is the foremost Pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra and extra-African trade.

The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.

Since 1994, Afreximbank has approved almost $35 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $4.5 billion in 2014.

Afreximbank is headquartered in Cairo.