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Afreximbank reaffirms commitment to transforming Africa through trade

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The African Import Export Bank (Afreximbank), has reiterated its commitment to integrate and transform African economies by promoting Intra-African trading.

A statement issued by the bank on Monday said that its Managing Director on Intra-African Trade, Mrs Kanayo Awani said this at the “Trade with Africa Business Summit’’ in Chicago, United States of America.

Awani said that efforts to open up African markets should be accompanied with industrialisation and capacity building initiatives to help African countries produce value-added goods.

She said that such an approach would allow for such value-added goods to be traded within the continent and globally in a competitive manner.

Awani said that the bank was ready to work with partners, including the United States to promote inclusive growth and socio-economic transformation in Africa.

She said that with the number of Africans in Diaspora,  there were opportunities for growth in Diaspora-focused trade in ethnic foods, textiles, the creative industry, including music and film, and tourism.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

Economy

Afreximbank partners International Trade Centre to enhance businesses in Africa

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The African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank), says it is collaborating with International Trade Centre (ITC), to help businesses make the most of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Amadou Sall, the Manager, Communications and Event (Media Relations), Afreximbank.

Sall said that Afreximbank would be teaming up with ITC to train small-business owners and young entrepreneurs in Africa to trade with other African countries as part of the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

He said the training would be focusing on how to export within the AfCFTA, a new free-trade area amid the economic strain of climate change and the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to him, the training will give business owners the knowledge and skills they need to engage effectively in cross-border trade under terms of the emerging free-trade area for Africa.

He quoted ITC Acting Executive Director, Ms Dorothy Tembo, as saying that Intra-African trade was structurally low at 15 per cent compared to Europe at nearly 70 per cent, for example.

And the AfCFTA will open a market of 1.2 billion people.

“Against the backdrop of the current COVID-19 health and economic crisis, African micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) need support to take full advantage of the continental market.

“Through this partnership, African businesses will have the opportunity to learn, plan and succeed in growing their business by taking full advantage of the AfCFTA,” Tembo said.

Similarly, Ms Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, said the initiative was necessary.

According to her, increasing intra-African trade through exports of goods and services by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is the cornerstone of the AfCFTA.

“It signals an optimal strategy to aid businesses and develop regional value chains, which have become more relevant with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our joint initiative with ITC is a proactive way to support the implementation of the AfCFTA and to provide SMEs with the tools to respond more effectively to the economic and social challenges presented by the global pandemic,” Awani added.

She said that the training would be conducted through ITC’s popular multilingual SME Trade Academy platform, under the auspices of the Afreximbank Academy (AFRACAD).

She further explained that the programme would be piloted in Nigeria, Rwanda, and Côte d’Ivoire and would be launched in close collaboration with trade promotion organisations of the three selected pilot countries.

Afreximbank and ITC will work toward increasing opportunities for small-business owners to export and supporting countries to achieve their overall trade goals at the regional, continental and global levels.

ITC is also partnering Afreximbank to support South Sudan in increasing its trade competitiveness, boosting its exports through economic diversification and creating investment opportunities through the development of a trade and investment promotion strategy

Awani noted that the promotion strategy would identify several priority sectors with a high potential for trade and increasing job opportunities, especially for women and young people.

ITC will work with the country’s ministry of trade, investment agencies and private-sector associations to ensure the strategy provides sustainable solutions for the country’s development,’’ she said.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Economy

FG urges Afreximbank to simplify access to $500m dollar creative industry support fund

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The Federal Government has implored the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to simplify the process for accessing the 500 million dollar creative support fund by the pan-African finance institution.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the plea in Abuja at the close of a virtual forum of the AU Ministers of Arts, Culture and Heritage on the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the creative sector.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports the virtual forum organised by the AU Commission for Social Affairs was chaired by the Minister.

 

NAN also reports that no fewer than 20 ministers made contributions on the effects of the novel Covid-19 pandemic on the creative sector in their respective  countries at the forum.

In a closing remarks, the minister said the President of the bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah should make the process of accessing the funding easier for small scale artists and other practitioners

 

 “It is this fund that most of us will rely on, in looking up to the bank to save our arts, culture and heritage from the ravages of the coronavirus  pandemic.

“We want Prof. Oramah to help the industry, by simplifying the process especially for small artists, fashion designers, make-up artists and others to access the funding through the various cooperatives which we are going to encourage them to form.

“The beauty of this industry is that after agriculture it employs the largest number of people especially women and youths,” he said.

Earlier in a presentation to the forum, Oramah recalled that just before the Covid-19 came, the bank announced the creative Africa support facility to the amount of 500 million dollar.

“This facility is targeted at exporting of creative goods like films, music, fashion and all aspects of creative goods.

“It also target the financing of production, building infrastructure for the production of the creative goods and supporting companies that are engaged in the production,” he said.

He disclosed that the bank had developed a cooperative arrangement so that small scale actors in the industry could team up to access the fund.

“We know that many actors in creative industry are small and may not be able to have access to the financing giving their small sizes.

“We, therefore, created a cooperative instrument so that we can give money to them through cooperatives,” he said.

Oramah also recalled that the bank, in 2019, launched the African Payment and Settlement System to make it possible for Africans to pay for goods and services in inter-Africa trade through their local currencies.He said the system which made it possible for somebody in Kenya to buy contents produced in Mali and pay in Kenyan Shillings would open the market for Africa creative goods.

 Oramah, a Nigerian National and a Manager with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank before joining Afreximbank as Chief Analyst in 1994, underscored the need to create a mechanism for e-commerce on creative goods.

He said the mechanism would make it easier for Africans to trade among themselves and by doing so the creative goods would boom.

The bank president said the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted on the economy of the world and the global economy is expected to suffer the worst recession.

He noted that although the creative economy had been impacted but it had also shown some improvement.

“Some production activities has stopped such as the fashion sub-sector, production of movies and music had been impacted.

“However, we have seen a tremendous growth in the demand for some creative goods as people get confined to their respective homes.

“Global distribution channels for movies and music such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and even those that focus on Africa have seen remarkable growth in subscription.

“Netflix for instance announced an unprecedented 16 million subscribers during the first quarter of this year.

“Although we do not have statistics, some local platforms in Africa have also indicated rising demand.

“So, we see that the creative economy has provided opportunity for Africa, to a large extent, mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on our economy,” he said.

The banker encouraged the ministers to promote inter-regional trade in creative product, to boost African share in the 2.25 trillion dollar global creative industry market.

Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Economy

Afreximbank annual meeting 2020 opens for registration

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 The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says registration for the 2020 Afreximbank Annual Meeting (AAM) is open to stakeholders.

Banking industry professionals, trade and trade finance practitioners, and other parties involved in economic development from across Africa and beyond are expected to register their participation.

This is contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by the spokesman of Afreximbank, Mr Amadou Sall, and made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.

It said the conference would hold in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Sall said the forum themed “Youth, Trade and Development”, would  feature a host of high-level speakers in plenaries and side events from June 10 to 13  at the Sharm El Sheikh International Congress Center.

“Business, political leaders and have been ranked among the most important gatherings of economic decision-makers in Africa.”

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of Afreximbank, said recognition of critical role that Africa’s evolving demographics would play in the coming decades, AAM2020 would also focus on the theme.

“We will assess the challenges and opportunities presented by Africa as the world’s youngest continent and home to 90 per cent of the global youth market, with 19 of the world’s 20 youngest countries.

“We will explore how Africa can create dividends from this potential huge advantage, how we should educate our young, develop the most relevant training programmes for them, and what Africa should be doing right now,” he said.

NAN recalls that the Afreximbank’s last Annual Meeting took place in Moscow in June 2019.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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General news

FG to facilitate investment for Argungu festival from Afreximbank

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The

 Federal Government says it will facilitate investments from African Export-Import Bank (

Afreximbank) for the development of infrastructure around the Argungu international fishing and cultural festival to attract tourists.

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this in Argungu after the traditional wrestling, boxing, tug of war competitions which are parts of the events staged for the festival.

Afreximbank, is a pan-African multilateral

 trade finance institution created in 1993 under the auspices of the Aftican

 

Development Bank, with the headquarter in Cairo,

 Egypt.

 

The Minister underscored the need to build 

 infrastructure around the festival to take care of the thousands of participants, spectators and  tourists locally and internationally.

 

He said the government was specifically encouraged to take the step because of the unprecedented crowd at the 2020 festival even after over ten years hiatus.

 

Mohammed said the infrastructure would take care of the regular challenges associated with the festival including crowd control, audience measurement attract ing nvestors locally and international.

 

“Hopefully by next month,  we will be in Cairo to make a strong case for making available funds for investment in tourism infrastructure such as modern arena, purposefully built  conference Hall and amphi-theatre

“You can imagine what 50,000 capacity arena  would have done to Argungu festival today because I am sure that we have more than 50,000  people around that wanted to come in.

“As a matter of fact, we have more people outside the arena of this programme that wanted to come into the arena.

“Because there is a market now, we can make a strong case for investments on infrastructure on the festival,” he said.

The Minister said that the Argungu fishing festival already have a deep , elaborate and sellable contents with audience.

He said  participants at the competitions are not just from Argungu and Kebbi, but cut across states in the country while contestants also participated from neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

“What struck me most is the popularity of these sports and as they cut across the entire community, young old women girls boys and the participants are not just from Kebbi state some came from as far as  Niger, Cameroon to compete.

This will help to build Unity and regional integration and cooperations in addressing our common challenges like insecurity.

“Yes I know that people complained that it could have been better organised and the crowd control could have been better managed.

“I  agreed with the criticism, but the positive side of these is that we have a festival that is already popular, we have a content that is popular among the audience

.

“What we need to do now is to build the infrastructure around that product and that is  exactly what we are trying to do,” he said.

The Minister noted that tourism generally is local at it’s formative stage before it will develop globally.

“We have very strong local tourism that will attract international tourists and I am also impressed that after almost 11 years of hiatus,the event came back with a bang.

People are very enthusiastic  and passionate and what we can see now is that despite many years it stopped we have not lost audience,” he said.

Mohammed said the organisers must engage in aggressive marketing adding that investors too must not shy but understand that the creative industry and tourism are gradually becoming the frontiers of the economy.

The Minister thanked President Muhammadu Buhari who declared the festival open and participated in the agriculture show and other events.

He said the show witnessed by the President was agricultural aspect of tourism and it was meant to showcase the result of federal government investment and commitment to agriculture.

“We saw the rice pyramids which is of about 45000 bags of paddy of 100kg and the farmers have been able to assure us that they can be able to supply all our rice  Mills with paddy.

The rice Mills also confirm that they are expanding their capacity.

Overall what we saw is  the result of backward integration in agriculture and the  processing of arious new products made from rice groundnuts, sorghum and other agricultural produce.

The Minister stressed that the shows was a testimony to the fact that Nigeria is onl agricultural revolution .

He assured that the federal government would continue to provide infrastructure such as roads, airports, railway security as well as deliberate policies to boost tourism.

Mohammed therefore charged the state and local governments, who are the custodians of the heritage  to invest more on creative industry and see it as an area where they can build their legacies, generate fund and create jobs.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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Economy

Afreximbank, FCI collaborate on factoring in SMEs financing

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in collaboration with Factors Chain International (FCI) is set to hold a two-day conference to promote the use of factoring to enhance access to financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the spokesman of Afreximbank, Amadou Sall, and made available to Nigeria News Agency in Abuja, said the conference would hold in Nairobi, Kenya from Feb. 27 and Feb. 28.

Sall said that Afreximbank and FCI factoring would provide more financing to SMEs than traditional lending channels, if the knowledge and capability were shared.

Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e. invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount.

A business will sometimes factor its receivable assets to meet its present and immediate cash needs.

He said that the conference was aimed at creating awareness, building capacity and providing opportunities for networking in the factoring industry.

“Promoting Intra-African Trade and facilitating Industrialization and Export Development are key pillars of Afreximbank’s current strategy.

“We believe that factoring will support their implementation capacity in the context of the untapped opportunities. Factoring provides a solution to address the challenge of access to financing for African SMEs.

“Afreximbank will continue to play a leading role in facilitating the growth of factoring in Africa especially in creating awareness and building requisite capacity,” he said.

Sall recalled that the Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative Afreximbank, Mr Kanayo Awani, had generally recognised that Africa presents some of the most exciting global opportunities for economic development and expansion.

Sall said that factoring was capable of providing support for future success in both funding SMEs and inter-African trade, adding that FCI’s African Chapter is in place to help guide this expansion and develop the necessary skills in market to drive growth at the regional level.

Sall said that the regional conference would attract 120 senior executives from factoring companies, banks and non-bank financial institutions, government agencies, consulting firms and IT providers.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz

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Economy

Afreximbank expects over $40bn trade, investment deals at 2nd IATF billed for Rwanda

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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it expects trade and investment deals totaling more than 40 billion dollars from over 1,100 exhibitors at the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020) scheduled for Kigali.

A statement by Deborah Ross, Afreximbank’s spokesperson on Tuesday said the fair being organised in collaboration with the African Union and hosted by the Government of Rwanda would hold from Sept. 1 to Sept. 7.

Ross said the registration for the fair, which had opened would attract exhibitors from 55 countries.

She said that the fair would also feature business-to-business and business-to-government exchanges for the development of trade and investment in Africa.

“Country Days have also been set aside to allow interested countries dedicated days to highlight their trade and investment opportunities,” she said.

Ross quoted the bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, as saying that the fair would widen networks for business and government buyers and sellers from across Africa and beyond.

Oramah said that the trade fair would position participants to access a single market of over 1.3 billion people and reap the full commercial benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

He reiterated that tariffs, protectionism, poor infrastructure, lack of market information and other barriers to trade had severely constrained intra-African trade and impeded the continent’s economic development for decades.

Oramah said that the operational phase of AfCFTA had started to remove many of these obstacles, adding that the fair was a better time for Africa’s vibrant and varied business sectors to exponentially increase their intra-African and global trade.

The inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2018), which took place in Cairo in December 2018, generated business deals worth more than 32 billion dollars.

Afreximbank is the foremost Pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.

The bank was established in Oct. 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.

Since 1994, it has approved more than 67 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including 7.2 billion dollars in 2018.

Afreximbank had total assets of 13.4 billion dollars as at Dec. 31, 2018 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB– (Fitch).

The bank has its headquarters in Cairo.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Ese E. Ekama

 

 

 

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Economy

Afreximbank organises roadshow to enhance Rwandan businesses

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has announced a roadshow in Kigali to show the Rwandan private sector how it can become a primary beneficiary of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by Mr Obi Emekekwue, an official of Afreximbank.

Emekekwue said that the African Continental Free Trade Area would provide significant opportunities to access the largely untapped markets and sectors in an integrated African market of over 1.3 billion people.

He said that the programme would be organised in collaboration with Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation (PSF).

According to him, the roadshow, which will start on February 11, seeks to raise the awareness of the Rwandan private sector about the substantial benefits of attending the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020).

“Rwandan businesses can take advantage of the AfCFTA by establishing new networks of business buyers and sellers from across the African continent, enabling the country to significantly expand its intra-African trade.

Emekekwue also quoted Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, as saying that “Rwanda’s economic transformation is undoubtedly one of Africa’s success stories”.

“Rwandan businesses can further capitalise on this achievement by positioning themselves to take full advantage of the AfCFTA.

“Its removal of intra-African trade tariffs, progressive dismantling of non-tariff barriers and protectionism, will create a genuine single continental market.

“By attending IATF2020, they will gain a rare opportunity to showcase their goods and services to buyers from across the African continent, and establish new trade and investment links with a wide network of private and public sector players from more than 55 different countries.

“IATF2020 is expected to be Africa’s main trade event of 2020 and is aimed at providing a marketplace for buyers and sellers of products and services from Africa and beyond to meet and explore business opportunities.”

Oramah said that the event would offer a platform for Business-to-Business and Business-to-Government exchanges, as well as business networking and development opportunities leading to the expected conclusion of trade and investment deals worth 40 billion dollars.

 

 

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Economy

Afreximbank organises road-show to help Rwandan businesses tap into AfCFTA

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it will hold a road-show in Kigali on how Rwanda’s private sector can become the primary beneficiary of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Deborah Ross, Spokesperson of the bank, said in a statement that the road-show, which would start on Feb. 11, would provide significant opportunities for the country’s private sector to access the largely untapped integrated African market of over 1.3 billion people.

Ross said the road-show, being organised in collaboration with Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation (PSF), was to raise the awareness of the Rwandan private sector about the substantial benefits of attending the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020) billed for Sept. 1 to Sept. 7 in Kigali.

According to Ross, Rwandan businesses can take advantage of the AfCFTA by establishing new networks of business buyers and sellers from across the African continent to enable the country to expand its intra-African trade.

Ross quoted Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, as saying that “Rwanda’s economic transformation is undoubtedly one of Africa’s success stories.

“Rwandan businesses can further capitalise on this achievement by positioning themselves to take full advantage of the AfCFTA,” Oramah said.

He said that the removal of intra-African trade tariffs, progressive dismantling of non-tariff barriers and protectionism, would create a genuine single continental market for the country.

He urged Rwandan businesses to attend IATF2020 to enable them showcase their goods and services to buyers from across the African continent, whilst establishing new trade and investment links with more than 55 different countries.

IATF2020 is aimed at providing a marketplace for buyers and sellers of products and services from Africa and beyond to meet and explore business opportunities.

It will offer a platform for business-to-business and business-to-government exchanges, as well as business networking and development opportunities leading to the expected conclusion of trade and investment deals worth $40 billion.

The operational phase of the AfCFTA will commence on July 1.

Afreximbank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.

The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.

Since 1994, it has approved more than $67 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including $7.2 billion in 2018. As at Dec. 31, 2018, it had total assets of $13.4 billion.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Wale Ojetimi

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Economy

Afreximbank boss honored with Russia National Award

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President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Orama was on Tuesday honoured with Russia National Award for revitalising trade and economic relations between Africa and Russia.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the Spokesman of Afreximbank, Mr Obi Emekekwue said that the national honour of “The Order of Friendship” was bestowed on Oramah by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Putin said that the award conferred on Oramah was specifically in recognition of the role played by Afreximbank in revitalising trade and economic relations between Africa and Russia.

He said that this was evident in the success of the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum held in Sochi, Russian Federation from Oct. 23 to Oct. 24, as well as the rapidly rising trade and investment relationship between Russia and Africa.

“The award on Oramah falls under the category of “Special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations for fruitful work on the convergence and mutual enrichment of cultures of nations and peoples,’’ Putin said.

According to the statement, the award took place during a ceremony held in Kremlin, seat of the Government of the Russian Federation, and was witnessed by senior members of the government and other dignitaries.

“The Order of Friendship is a state decoration established by Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the Russian Federation, and is awarded to Russians and foreign nationals.

“This is for Special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, “cooperation and understanding between nations, for fruitful work on the convergence and mutual enrichment of cultures of nations and peoples.

“It is also for active conservation, development and promotion of the cultural and historical heritage of Russia;

“It is also for great contribution to the implementation of joint ventures with the Russian Federation, major economic projects and attracting investments into the economy of the Russian Federation, and Broad charitable activities.’’

Other recipients of the award included Vice-President Rosario Zambrana of Nicaragua, William Craft Brumfield, a U S citizen and professor of Slavic Studies at Tulane University.

Others were Prof. Emeritus Rein Müllerson, an Estonian citizen and International Law Researcher at Tallinn University, Nikos Daskalandonakis, Russian Honorary Consul in Crete; and Armi Lopez Garcia, Russian Honorary Consul in the Philippines.

Some previous winners of the honour include former U S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon among others.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

 

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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