Abuja — The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) will disburse about $25 billion in support of intra-African trade for five years ending in 2021 under an Intra-African Trade Strategy, which it launched in 2016 in anticipation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Afreximbank President, Dr. Benedict Oramah, announced in Kigali, Rwanda at a special luncheon for heads of states and delegates attending the signing of the agreement for the launch of the AfCFTA that the Strategy drew inspiration from the African Union's Action Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade and the Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial Development in Africa.
It sought to contribute to providing end-to-end and comprehensive solutions to smoothen the conduct of cross-border trade and investment activities across Africa, he said.
The Bank, in a statement quoted Oramah as saying that the signing of the AfCFTA agreement promised to build a solid foundation for prosperity for all Africans, adding that "Afreximbank is, therefore, prepared, willing and able to play its role to make sure that opportunities created by the history-making step taken by African leaders are fully realized".
He announced that, as part of the Intra-African trade Strategy, Afreximbank had opened credit lines amounting to $800 million to 55 banks across Africa in order to facilitate the confirmation of letters of credit in support of intra-African trade.
The Bank's goal was to extend such lines to at least 500 banks in all African countries by 2021 in order to significantly reduce the cost of intra-African trade finance and to counter the constraints posed by country risks.
Oramah added that the inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair, which the Bank was organising in collaboration with the African Union in Cairo between December 11 and 17 would attract more than 1,000 exhibitors and bring in some 70,000 visitors.