Moody's upgrades Egypt's ratings to B2    Cardiff's Warnock hopes to avoid thrashing by Liverpool    Four Turkish soldiers killed in clashes with PKK: Ministry    Tennis: Barty beats doubles partner Azarenka to level Fed Cup semi-final    New attack on Ebola center in Congo; 1 militia member killed    Sleep myths may hinder good sleep and health    Russian envoys meet Syria's Assad, discuss post-war efforts, trade    Northern Ireland police arrest two over murder of journalist    Egyptians begin voting on constitutional amendments referendum in Egypt    Neymar could be back on Sunday, says PSG coach    Egypt's economy: Reining in inflation    Mauro Colombo's Tierra Adentro wins Yellow Robin award    Cannes prepares 60th anniversary of Marché du Film    Egyptians abroad vote in constitution referendum    No days off during constitutional amendments referendum: Cabinet    Egyptian community in US will be voting "yes" on constitutional amendments    Investing in people helps to share in benefits of economic growth, technological progress    Trump forces Brussels' hand on trade despite tariffs backlash    Uber adds new feature for female drivers to drive only women in Saudi Arabia    Two Egyptian females win 2019 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting    Beyond chocolate: The egg in art and design    Tobruk Parliament calls on UN Security Council to stop Qatari, Turkish intervention    For its 10th time: L'Oréal Group recognised as one of world's most ethical companies    Made in Germany, heard in Spain: The Leon cathedral organ connection    Egypt's Sisi pardons prisoners on Sinai Liberation Day    Moody's upgrades Egypt's rating to B2, expects more economic growth    Expected exit    Spectacular scene, favourable draw    Reining in inflation    The economic way ahead    Sudanese demand ‘legitimate change'    Caught in the middle?    What next for Libya?    Escaping expenses    ‘I don't want sympathy'    Pasta vegetable salad    Towards the referendum    The final draft    Flight prices go sky high    Bundeli Kala Parishad troupe's Indian folk dance show at Al-Gumhouriya Theatre is a must go    Paris' Notre Dame    Screen blues    Parliament approves constitutional amendments allowing Al-Sisi extra term till 2030    Vatican willing to offer technical know-how to help restore Notre-Dame    Al-Azhar condemns racist chants against Liverpool's Mohamed Salah    Mentally frail Borussia Dortmund relying on individual brilliance    German Football Ambassador 2019: Klopp, Kroos, Podolski on the list    In the company of the philosopher Roshdi Rashed in Paris    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Strengthening African economies
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 19 - 04 - 2016

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) last week launched a new Intra-African Trade Strategy to boost economic integration among African countries. It aims to strengthen the production and export capacities of African countries and raise intra-African trade by 50 per cent, from the current level of $170 billion to $250 billion by 2021.
Boosting intra-regional trade will help reduce the continent's dependence on commodities, according to Benedict Oramah, president of Afreximbank. Established in 1993, the bank is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution that finances and promotes intra- and extra-African trade.
Speaking to Al-Ahram Weekly, Oramah clarified the role of the bank in reinforcing regional trade arrangements like the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), a proposed African free trade agreement between COMESA, SADC and the East African Community (EAC).
Within the framework of these agreements, Oramah said, are efforts at the governmental and business levels. “But if we do not have the finance to make sure that the trade takes place, those activities will not happen,” he said.
The role of Afreximbank is “to make sure that those initiatives work, since without finance and risk management products the initiatives will not achieve their full objective,” he added.
Three core pillars of “create,” “connect” and “deliver” characterise the new strategy. As part of the bank's “create” pillar, it will provide trade finance instruments for the import of investment goods, project finance, lines of credit, export development finance and guarantees, and project financing to construct infrastructure for the services sectors and for the development of industrial parks.
The “connect” pillar will consist of initiatives to facilitate linkages with public and private entities, institutions, agents and entrepreneurs along the trade value chain. It will also involve the launching of an intra-African trade payment platform using a clearing arrangement operated by the bank that will reduce the foreign currency costs of trade.
As part of the “deliver” pillar, Afreximbank will work to create effective and cost-efficient distribution mechanisms by the financing of transport logistics and storage infrastructure.
Oramah added that by supporting intra-African trade the bank is indirectly boosting Africa's exports to the world.
“If we achieve what we are trying to do in intra-African trade, we will confer on our member countries the dynamic comparative advantage that they need to compete effectively globally. Then we can hope that Africa will be more integrated into the global economy,” Oramah said.
He acknowledged that other issues, including poor infrastructure, hamper intra-African trade. While planning to address these through the new strategy, he said that the bank cannot do things alone.
Afreximbank is working closely with the African Development Bank, he said, to make sure that the needed infrastructure is built. He added that individual governments are also making efforts in that regard, giving the example of Egypt, which is building a road to Addis Ababa as part of a greater plan to build a trans-African highway to link Egypt to South Africa.
Beyond infrastructure, Oramah said there is also the issue of standards. He said the bank is working with the African Organisation of Standardisation to deal better with the issue of the multiplicity of standards, reducing these because they are a non-tariff barrier to intra-regional trade.
Afreximbank has also announced increased cooperation with Egypt. The bank's current portfolio in Egypt has around $3.5 billion of exposure in exports, imports and project finance.
It is currently implementing the Egypt-Africa Trade Promotion Programme (EATPP), to which the bank has allocated $500 million to facilitate the expansion of Egypt's trade with the rest of Africa. A total of $300 million has already been disbursed.
Another $500 million has been earmarked for Egypt in cooperation with the Central Bank of Egypt to encourage commercial banks to help manufacturers obtain the raw materials they need for exports, Omarah said.
The plan aims to alleviate temporary foreign currency availability constraints in the importation of strategic and key industrial products.


Clic here to read the story from its source.