Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Attijariwafa Bank Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate in developing a large framework of cooperation in trade across Africa.
Under the terms of the MoU signed in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt at the weekend by the President of Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Oramah and Mohamed El Kettani, Chairman and CEO of Attijariwafa Bank Group, on the sidelines of the Africa 2017 Forum, the two institutions committed to collaborating in equity and treasury cooperation through the participation of Attijariwafa Bank in Afreximbankâ€™s equity base as well as the use of excess liquidity for placements under Afreximbankâ€™s deposit schemes aimed at financing trade across Africa.
A statement issued by Obi Emekekwue of Afreximbank’s Communications Department said both banks will also cooperate in facilitating the identification, preparation and co-financing of projects related to their respective areas of activities and in the co-financing trade through the provision of line of credit confirmations.
The MoU also provides for Attijariwafa Bank to act as a local administrative agent for Afreximbank through its network in 15 African countries.
The two parties equally agreed to collaborate in building capacity and sharing information and staff.
In his remarks at the MoU signing ceremony, Oramah said: “This MoU opens up the potential for our two institutions, working together, to make significant contributions toward unlocking the full potentials for delivering the much-needed developmental impact on our continent.
â€œThe MoU sets up a long-term strategic partnership between Afreximbank and Attijariwafa bank as an integral part of our Intra-African Trade Initiative and will enable us to cooperate in providing innovative trade finance solutions.
“As the largest bank in Morocco and a leading pan-African bank, we see an important role for Attijariwafa Bank as Afreximbank seeks to expand its operations in the Moroccan market, in particular, in the area of identifying opportunities for structured trade finance transactions,” Oramah stated.
Also speaking at the signing, El Kettani said, â€œSigning this MoU with Afreximbank is another important milestone in our long-lasting relationship. Indeed, over the past years, our affiliate, Attijariwafa Bank Egypt (formerly Barclays Bank Egypt), has developed a strong and diversified partnership with Afreximbank.
” Therefore, the present MoU enlarges the spectrum of covered geographies and strengthens intra-African cooperation and specifically one of its key levers which is trade.
“As we all know, Afreximbank plays a leading role in boosting trade across Africa and Attijariwafa bank is also deeply involved in financing intra-African trade flows through its affiliates in North, West and Central Africa. “My conviction is strong that this MoU will contribute to bringing up new fruitful opportunities for our respective customers,â€ he said.