Nigeria: Afreximbank Pledges U.S.$1 Billion for AfCFTA

Photo: AU
The AU's 12th Extraordinary Summit on AfCFTA ended on July 7.
9 July 2019

Abuja and Lagos — The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has said it will institute a $1 billion adjustment facility to cushion the effects of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation.

This is coming as the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has urged Nigeria and other African countries to implement the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement and four other trade policies, stressing that their adoption can raise Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 4.5 per cent or $134 billion annually and $1.34 trillion in 10 years.

The $1 billion facility, according to the bank's President, Benedict Oramah, will help AfCFTA participating countries lessen the impact of sudden significant tariff revenue losses.

AfCFTA is a trade agreement between African Union member states. Its ultimate goal is to create a single African market.

Nigeria became the 53rd country to formally join the agreement when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the AfCFTA treaty on Sunday.

Oramah made the announcement while addressing the 12th Extraordinary Summit of African Union (AU) Heads of State in Niamey, Niger.

"This facility will help countries to accelerate the ratification of the AfCFTA," he said.

He added that, as part of its support for the implementation of the AfCFTA, the Bank had provided support to aid the work being done by the African Regional Standards Organisation and the AU in implementing the Agreement.

Oramah also informed the Summit of the launch the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), the first continent-wide payment digital system focused on facilitating payments for goods and services in intra-African trade in African currencies.

Meanwhile, AfDB has urged Nigeria and other African countries to implement the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement and four other trade policies, stressing that their adoption can raise Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 4.5 per cent or $134 billion annually and $1.34 trillion in 10 years.

The AfDB stated this in its African economic outlook, adding that the first expected outcome of an effective preferential trade agreement was an increase in trade among members through three channels.

Nigeria had in January this year in Davos, Switzerland, ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the WTO, making it the 107th WTO member to do so.

Only three more ratifications from member countries were needed to achieve the two-third threshold required to bring the treaty into force.

Concluded at the WTO's 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference, the TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.

The agreement sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.

It also contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area, and has the potential to increase global merchandise exports.

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