17 April 2019

Nigeria: Afreximbank's, AU's Digital Plan to Ease Trade Finance Flows

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is working, with the support of African Union (AU), to create a digital ecosystem that will eliminate the major bottlenecks to trade finance flows within Africa, Bank President Prof. Benedict Oramah, announced recently in Washington D.C.

Delivering an address at the IGD Frontier 100 Forum, organised by the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, Oramah identified one of the major constraints to intra-African trade as lack of information to support intra-regional trade and investments.

As a result, many African countries were importing products from outside the continent while neighbouring countries were exporting the same products at a much lower cost, the bank said in a statement.

To address the challenge, he said that Afreximbank and the AU were working to use digital technology to improve access to trade information and facilitate the use of African national currencies via intra-African trade settlements.

Oramah also said Afreximbank was developing a focused programme to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the continent, recognising that SMEs were a vital component to unlocking intra-African potential.

He had noted that IGD has been facilitating discourse on important African issues over the years and said that Afreximbank identified with the efforts and achievements of the IGD, hence its close partnership with the initiative.

Also speaking, President and CEO of IGD, Leila Ndiaye, said the initiative's work was aimed at supporting Africa's growth and development agenda and at pushing to unlock intra-African trade through SME growth and development.

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