President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, at the weekend disclosed that the bank has disbursed $15 billion of the $25 billion it set aside to support intra-African trade under its current five-year strategic plan.
Oramah made this disclosure during the “Africa 2019: Investment for Africa Forum” in Egypt’s New Capital City. He explained that the disbursement was a confirmation that the bank was delivering on the commitments it made to support the implementation of the AfCFTA. The funding would help to bridge the trade finance gap in Africa.
He added that Afreximbank would soon commence the piloting of a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), which would allow cross-border trade in Africa to be done in national currencies, thereby addressing the issue of high cost of payments.
He also said that the Afreximbank was building a trade information portal, which would be launched in December to improve knowledge and access to critical trade information across Africa. The bank is also developing industrial parks across the continent.
Moreover, Afreximbank is working with the African Union in organising the second Intra-African Trade Fair, which would be hosted in Kigali in September 2020. The trade fair, according to Oramah, would underpin a market of 1.2 billion people, attract over 1,000 exhibitors and 5,000 buyers and generate over $32 billion in deals.
He also declared that Egypt had become the largest recipient of foreign direct investments in Africa, despite witnessing a retreat between 2011 and 2013. He attributed this development to the return of confidence to the Egyptian economy due to the visionary leadership of the country.
The two-day Africa 2019: Investment for Africa Forum was organised by the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, in collaboration with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry.
It was held under the auspices of Egyptian President and current Chairman of the African Union , Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.