African Export Import Bank (AFREXIM) has said it will use the platform of its newly launched AFREXIM Guarantee Programme (AFGAP) to harness over $100billion investible funds from the informal sector and Africa in diaspora to improve trade in the continent.
AFREXIM President, Dr. Benedict Oramah, who disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 17th Advanced Structured Trade Finance Seminar and Workshops holding in De Sal ,Cape Verde, said Africa, as a continent is rich with over one trillion investible funds.
He said this being the case, the continent cannot afford to continue borrowing foreign money thereby enriching foreign economies.
“There is a lot of money in Africa to deal with infrastructure, and required investment, consider $400bn reserve of Africa despite the fall in commodity price or $300billin pension fund under management despite currency deprivation, or annual remittances of over $63billion by Africans in diaspora and about $59 available from Africans in diaspora all which if put together will amount to about $1trillion”.
He said AFREXIM, has studied this and has decided to show the way to the continent survival from poverty through reliance on resources sourced from Africa instead of dependence on foreign borrowings.
Oramah said the Bank, in order to achieve this, has set up a unit called Africa resource mobilisation unit; has hired persons; set target of raising $10 billion in five years from African sources through issuing of bonds to make Africa less reliance on foreign money.
According to him, the bank in less than one year, raised more than half of the target and has decided to increase the target.
He said AFREXIM, sees this year’s seminar as one that comes with added urgency in the face of the rapid changes witnessed in the world business system.
“The world is changing rapidly. Africa is also changing Bank and Bankers in Africa need to appreciate the changes, ensure they adapt to it so that they will play their role effectively. We are now as a bank supporting the agenda of the entire continent to integrate and trade more within ourselves, we are supporting the agenda of many of our member countries to decommoditise that is to move away from commodities. This means that skills and knowledge of banks in Africa will evolve to be able to support these imparatives globally.
Continuing, he said: “We are seeing rapid changes in technologies. They come in various forms such as artificial intelligence, bit coin and others”
Oramah, noted that data is becoming important commodity class, adding that entities that control data will control the world in future.
“Think about it the companies that deal on data today are bigger than countries in Africa. Look at revenue of face book, google it tells you a lot.
He said AFREXIM is concerned about how banks in Africa can play their role to ensure Africa is not left behind in the emerging commodity class.