African Export-Import Bank, or Afreximbank, Africa’s leading trade financing institution, on Monday, pledged to drive the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Addressing the audience during the opening of the bank’s annual general meeting held here, Benedict Oramah, president of Afreximbank, said the bank would provide an additional $20bn until 2026 to bridge further the financing gap in intra-Africa trade.
“Afreximbank‘s existence will give AfCFTA the best chance of success. Apart from the Pan-African Payment and Settlement Systems, Afreximbank is doing much more, including the Transit Guarantee Scheme and the intra-Africa Trade Fair, to support the AfCFTA implementation,” he said. “We have SWIFT communication arrangements with almost 500 of the 600 regulated commercial banks in Africa, making Afreximbank perhaps the bank with the most extensive reach on the continent.”
Oramah said the African Export-Import Bank had also made significant progress in improving access to letters of credit and other trade services across the continent, and between 2020 and 2022, the bank disbursed $45bn across the continent, enabling many governments, central and commercial banks, corporate bodies, and small and medium enterprises to weather the combined effects of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Oramah said it took 30 years of dedicated service and hard work for the bank to reach $30bn in total assets and guarantees. “I look ahead with confidence and declare that the African Export-Import Bank will double its size to $60bn in less than six years,” he added.