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Refineries Rehab : NNPC seeks partnerishp with AFREXIMBANK

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it is ready to collaborate with the African Export and Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) and other financial institutions willing to finance its critical projects.

NNPC Group Managing Director Malam Mele Kyari disclosed this in Abuja, on Tuesday while receiving a delegation from AFREXIMBANK led by its vice president Mr Anthony Kamel.


He said the critical projects were refineries rehabilitation and downstream infrastructure including pipelines.

Kyari said the corporation was open to financial and technical partnership with reputable financial institutions like the AFRIXIMBANK to develop the industry.

“We have a number of financing needs, it depends on how much you are bringing to the table. We need support particularly in refineries rehabilitation, depot optimisation and pipelines financing,” he said.

He assured the team of his readiness to work with the bank, saying “We will provide you with basic information. We are ready to talk to you.”

Earlier, Kamel said he was in NNPC to congratulate the GMD and his management team on behalf of the board and management of the bank.

He said the bank’s management thought it imperative to interact with NNPC, being a key player in one of the most viable sectors of the Nigerian economy which is the largest in Africa.

He added that the visit was also to seek collaboration on ways to further grow the oil and gas sector.

kamel also expressed interest in participating in some other projects like the Ajaokuta-Kaduna- Kano(AKK) pipeline system, apart from financing refineries’ rehabilitation and other downstream projects.(NAN)


ENO/ABI


Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa

Edith Ikeeboh: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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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Economy

Sochi 2019: Afreximbank says Russia-Africa trade volume hits N20bn in 3 years

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says trade between Africa and Russia has doubled to about $20 billion as against $10 billion in the past in three years.

A statement on Thursday by Mr Obi Emekekwue, Afreximbank’s Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management, quoted the bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah as saying this at the ongoing Russia-Africa Economic Forum in Sochi, Russian Federation.

Oramah said that Africa had achieved this figure through the bank’s engagement with the Russian Export Centre to promote trade between the two sides.

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.

The two-day Russia-Africa Economic Forum is being co-organised by the Russian Federation through the Roscongress Foundation and the Russian Export Center, and Afreximbank.

It is aimed at providing a platform for African and Russian businesses to connect in order to promote increased trade between Africa and Russia.

The Russian Export Centre is a shareholder in Afreximbank.

Oramah told the first-ever Russia-Africa Summit attended by about 50 African countries and other participants that the trade volume would double in the next two years.

He said Afreximbank would achieve this by offering guarantees and other programmes to address certain risk perceptions and increase trade.

According to him, the bank is also working with the Russian Export Centre to create a trade information portal which will provide information to businesses to facilitate trade between the two sides.

He welcomed the holding of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum, saying that the event was an opportunity for Africa to find new partner in dealing with some of the challenges confronting Africa.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Africa was becoming increasingly attractive to Russian businesses as many of the countries had become centres of economic growth.

He announced that Russia had recently written off $20 billion of debt owed by African countries, saying that funds from those debts were being used to set up special programmes to support Africa’s economic development.

Putin added that the Russian Federation would work with Africa to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, in particular by supporting collaboration with the Eurasian Economic Union.

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, President of Egypt and current Chairman of the African Union, was also quoted by the bank as saying  that Africa was embarking on a new phase of economic development by making strong efforts at regional and continental integration.

Al-Sisi said that Africa would welcome cooperation with partners willing to increase their investments and financial commitments in the continent.

According to President Al-Sisi, such cooperation must be based on mutual interest and the protection of African property in order to ensure sustainable economic development.


JI/TA


Editing by Joe Idika/Tajudeen Atitebi

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Economy

Afreximbank urges African countries to aid manufacturers’ cross-border trade through new agencies

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has called on African countries to create new vehicles that would make it possible for manufacturers to trade across the continent.

A statement on Thursday by Mr Obi Emekekwue, Afreximbank’s Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management, quoted the bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah as making the suggestion in New York.

Oramah said at the UN Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016-2019) that manufacturers needed somebody else to handle the export and trading of their products as they were not equipped for such roles.

He said that export trading companies had been one of the approaches used to tackle that challenge, adding that the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area also attempted to address the issue.

Oramah said that previous efforts by African countries to use manufacturing and industrialisation as engines for development and growth had failed largely as a result of issues such as lack of access to market, lack of capital and skills and inadequate infrastructure.

He stated that many large-scale investors had little interest in investing in Africa in a massive way because of the fragmented nature of the African market.

Oramah suggested that Africa should focus more on labour-intensive manufacturing which had more net effect on the population than on capital intensive industries.

He also stressed the need for Africa to focus on skills development, in particular, by going back to building technical schools and supporting universities of technology to equip people with the right skills for the emerging jobs.

Oramah announced that Afreximbank had launched an equity investment fund, the Fund for Export Development in Africa, which would help attract foreign direct investment to support industrialisation and manufacturing in Africa.

Other participants in the session are Dr Adewunmi Adesina, President, African Development Bank; Li Yong, Director-General, United Nations Industrial Organisation; President Apha Conde of Guinea; President Edgar Lungu of Zambia and Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan of Cote d’Ivoire.

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.

The bank is headquartered in Cairo.
JI/AFA

Editing by Joe Idika/Felix Ajide

 

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Economy

Afreximbank pledges $500m facility for Nigerian manufacturers

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it will allocate 500 million dollars from its Nigeria-Africa Trade and Investment Promotion Fund to support Nigerian manufacturers.

According to a statement by the bank on Thursday, the Afreximbank President, Prof. Benedict Oramah made this known at the 47th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

Oramah said that the facility would enable manufacturers to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) agreement.

He said that the opportunity for African manufacturers under the AfCFTA was phenomenal and that intra-regional trade in the manufacturing sector could rise to more than 150 billion dollars by 2022.

“The coming into force of the AfCFTA opens the wider African market to Nigerian manufacturers, creating a market of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of about 2.5 trillion dollars.

“By 2022, the AfCFTA is expected to bring the share of intra-African trade from current levels of about 16 per cent to 22 per cent, bringing total intra-African trade to about 250 billion dollars, from about 160 billion dollars.

“The preferences that the AfCFTA offers can make Nigerian manufactured goods more competitive in many African markets and can also make it possible to achieve integration into regional and global supply chains,” he said.

Oramah recommended that Nigeria should prioritise labour-intensive light manufacturing in its industrial policy in order to enable manufacturers and others to begin to appreciate that the country’s most abundant resource was its labour.

He said also that private sector-promoted heavy industries should be supported under a special arrangement that targets the production of critical industrial raw materials, such as petrochemicals, machine tools, cement and steel.

He informed the audience about the various facilities that Afreximbank had available for African manufacturers under its Industrialisation, Export Development and Intra-African Trade strategies.

He said this included the Export Development Programme which was available for export manufacturers, the Intra-African Investment Financing Facility which supports cross-border investments in Africa.

He also mentioned the Intra-African Investment Guarantee Facility, a series of facilities under the Trade Financing Programme, the Franchise Financing Facility and the Guarantee Programme covering an array of scenarios.(NAN)
RI/SH

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Economy

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

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Economy

Gov. Matawalle signs 1bn USD MoU with Afreximbank

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Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, has signed a One billion US dollar Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Afreximbank for the economic revitalisation of the State.

This is contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Yusuf Idris, the Director-General on Press Affairs to the governor and made available to newsmen in Gusau on Sunday.

The signing ceremony was held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The statement said Matawalle signed on behalf of Zamfara State Government while President of Afreximbank, Dr Benedict Orama signed for the bank.

The governor expressed appreciation to the bank for agreeing to support his administration to provide enabling environment to boost trade and industrialisation in the state.

He listed the areas the MoU would cover to include solid minerals, agriculture, textile development, healthcare, airport construction and power generation.

Matawalle assured of his administration’s determination to facilitate all the legal steps to back the agreement.

He further said that the government would ensure diligence, due process and accountability in implementing the agreement.

The noted that improvement in the state economic sectors would translate to more internal revenue and more job opportunities for the youths.

The governor further explained that the bank would invest the one billion US Dollars with no counterpart funding  from the government.

He however said that the Zamfara government would provide enabling environment for investors expected to  tap from the fund.

Matawalle expressed confidence that the agreement would soon change Zamfara state to an enviable economically developed role model in Nigeria and Africa.

In his remarks, President of the Bank, Dr Benedict Oroma, said Afreximbank became interested in investing in Zamfara because of the clear and renewed economic vision of the government.

He added that after series of discussions with the state officials, the bank agreed to sign the MoU of one billion US Dollars for investment in the major economic areas of the state.

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Economy

Afreximbank announces $1billion Adjustment Facility for AfCFTA

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it is providing one billion dollars grant to African countries to support the implementation of the Agreement for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

In a statement by Afreximbank’s spokesman, Mr Obi Emekekwue, the bank’s president said this to the African Heads of States at the 12th Extraordinary Summit of African Union (AU).

The President of the bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, told the Heads of States, that the facility was to enable countries adjust to sudden significant tariff revenue losses as a result of the implementation of the agreement.

Oramah said the bank will also provide aid for 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 of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS).

He described the PAPSS as the first continent-wide payment digital system focused on facilitating payments for goods and services in intra-African trade in African currencies.

“We launched the Africa-wide digital payment infrastructure, PAPSS, which was developed in collaboration with the African Union.

“It is a platform that will domesticate intra-regional payments, save the continent more than 5 billion dollars in payment transaction costs per annum.

“It will also help to formalise a significant proportion of the estimated 50 billion dollars of informal intra-African trade, and above all, contribute to boosting intra-African trade,” he said.

Oramah said that making it possible for Africans to pay for intra-regional trade in their local currencies will aid in the development of African economies.

“Our goal is to reduce, significantly, the foreign currency content of intra-African trade payments.

“No people have achieved meaningful development when their economic progress depends on others.

“In trying to boost trade and investment, it is imperative that we address the economic costs of effecting so many payments in scarce foreign exchange.

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Afreximbank signs agreement with Tunisia Central Bank to boost Tunisia-Africa Trade

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), says it has signed an agreement with the Central Bank of Tunisia for a 500 million dollars Tunisia-Africa Trade and Investment Promotion Programme.

Mr Obi Emekekwue, Afreximbank’s Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management said this in a statement on Tuesday.

Emekekwue said Oramah signed the agreement on behalf of Afreximbank, while Marouan Elabbasi, Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia signed for his institution.

Emekekwue quoted the bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah as saying the programme was to promote and expand trade and investments between Tunisia and the rest of Africa.

Oramah said that under the terms of the agreement signed at Afreximbank’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Moscow, Afreximbank would provide financing programmes to facilitate Tunisian exports and investments into Africa.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Afreximbank operates similar programmes with Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria as part of its strategies to increase trade and integrate African countries.

Elabbasi said the Central Bank of Tunisia would assist in identifying eligible Tunisian companies and financial institutions that would benefit from the programme.

Elabbasi said one of such initiatives included MANSA, the due diligence repository network established by Afreximbank in 2018, and the Pan-African and Settlements System, which the bank planned to inaugurate in July.

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, with headquarters in Cairo.

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Economy

Afreximbank optimistic trade between Russia-Africa will reach $40bn by 2023

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The Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has expressed optimism that trade between Africa and Russian Federation will increase from the current 22 billion dollars to more than 40 billion dollars in the next three years.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, Afreximbank’s President told newsmen in Moscow that the bank also expects the collaboration  between both parties to help improve infrastructure in Africa.

“ The purpose of coming here is to create the opportunity for business relations between Russia and African businessmen and women.

“We expect that this will make it possible for trade to go on, we hope that this will make it possible for investments to go on including infrastructure in Africa.

“We expect that two way trade between africa and Russia should grow from the current level of about 22 billion dollars to more than 40 billion in about three years.

“We expect that given what we know to be the expertise of the Russians, that we will see Russian investments in manufacturing, petrochemical, mining, cyber security, medicine and so on.

“This is a new relationship we are trying to develop so these are early days but we know that this will be a fast growing relationship.

“The two way trade between Africa and Russia rose by 70 per cent between 2017 and 2018 and with the kind of attention being paid to trade  and investment now, I expect double digit growth in trade in the coming years .’’

Oramah said it was the second time the bank would be holding its annual meeting outside Africa, adding that the first was done in China in 2011.

He said following that annual meeting , there was a strengthening of  the relationship between the bank and the Chinese entities, and business flows between the Chinese and Africa increased substantially.

According to him, we are here at the invitation of the Russian Government.

“ The Russian Federation has made a strategic decision to increase trade and economic relations between Africa, one of the key things they did was to join the Afreximbank shareholding through the Russian Export Center in 2017.

“So, since the past two years there has been an increase in trade and investment activity between Russia and Africa .We will  be working very actively with Russian Export Centre to promote the trade.

“And we hope that the annual meetings will provide the opportunity for many of the African businesses to know more about the Russians and for the Russians we are visiting to know more about Africa.

“As experienced when we went to China, we look forward to an increased flow of business following this meeting.’’

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

 

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Economy

Afreximbank supports intra-regional trade with $25bn

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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has disbursed eight billion dollars out of the 25 billion dollars it planned on a revolving basis to support intra-regional trade between 2017 and 2021.

The bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said this at the on-going Afreximbank Annual Meeting (AAM 2019) in Moscow on Thursday.

“I am pleased to report that in two years of implementation, about eight billion dollars have been disbursed supporting trade and investment flows across borders.

“Afreximbank has committed significant resources towards creating the infrastructure that will support export manufacturing.

“A wood processing park supported by the Bank is already operational and contributing significantly to the economy of Gabon.

“A mineral processing park and port are also under development in Gabon as are industrial parks in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Malawi, Togo and Kenya.

“Credit facilities have been granted for the construction of Border Markets in Southern Africa as well as for roads linking multiple countries in West Africa.

“We have made improving access to trade finance, especially trade services a key element of our work.

“ Afreximbank has set itself the goal of granting trade finance and trade services lines amounting to eight billion dollars to 500 African banks spread across the continent, by the end of 2021.

“And About 320 banks have so far been on-boarded into the Programme and work is continuing,’’ Oramah said.

He said the banks total assets and contingent liabilities increased from 13 billion in 2017 to about 15 billion dollars in 2018.

He said Afreximbank’s net income rose from 220 million dollars in 2017 to 276 million dollars in 2018, driven by a 19 per cent growth in net interest income and a contained rise in expenses.

Oramah said Afreximbank’s capitalisation had remained sound with capital adequacy ratio at 25 per cent, on the back of an increase of 20 per cent in shareholders’ funds.

He said the banks’s shareholders fund increased from 2.6 billion dollars in 2018 to 3.5 billion dollars in 2019.

He said:“ Based on the strong performance and the transformative initiatives the Bank implemented in 2018, it was voted African Bank of the Year by the African Banker a few days ago.’’

On Mansa (Africa Customer Due Diligence Repository Platform), Oramah said the population of the platform was underway and with the help of Central Bank of Egypt, extensive training of African Central Banks and commercial banks was also underway.

The Afreximbank boss expressed optimism that the platform, by 2020, would hold over 500,000 data sets making it the largest repository of Customer Due Diligence Information on African entities globally.

He said the bank was working at breaking down trade barriers in Africa caused by fragmentation through artificial intelligence.

He said the bank was also working with the Africa Union to arrange an AfCFTA Adjustment Facility worth one billion dollars to enable countries in need to manage fiscal revenue shock.

This facility, Oramah said would make it easier for countries to comply with their commitments on tariff concessions and make the AfCFTA more impactful.

Also, the Prime Minister, Republic of Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, pledged the country’s support to support Nigeria and the rest of Africa in their search for economic development.

Medvedev said in spite of the difficult global economic developments, positive goals could still be achieved with effective partnership “when we do it together.’’

According to him, Russia and African economies are endowed richly, a development that makes strategic investments imperative on the continent, to support growth.

He assured that the Russian Federation was pleased to participate in the ensuing projects on the African continent.

The prime minister said that Russia would use its expertise to raise the value of the continent’s primary sector, particularly in industrial productions, mining and agriculture.

“Our export centre is now a shareholder of Afreximbank.

“We have sincere commitment for Africa and four African states have visited us in just few months, as a show of the new relationship that we are building.

“Over 17,000 African students are studying in Russia and we simply need to know each other better.

“Africa and Russia will deepen their friendship on the basis of business and more active interactions.

“We look forward with hope for a brighter relationship that is built on trust and mutual respect, and most importantly relations that will bring economic prosperity to Africa and our country,” Medvedev said.

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Economy

Afreximbank to provide $100m support for Comoros’ aviation sector

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it is in discussion with a local group to provide about $100 million support for Comoros’ aviation sector and other infrastructure.

Afreximbank announced this in a statement issued on Thursday by Mr Obi Emekekwue, its Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management.

Emekekwue quoted the bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, as revealing this when he visited President Azali Assoumani on Wednesday in Moroni, the country’s capital.

Oramah told Assoumani that there were ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Finance of Comoros and the Central Bank, which would make it possible for Afreximbank to provide an initial tranche of $20 million.

According to him, the money is to support trade and related infrastructure, including fuel and other strategic imports.

“We are also discussing with a local group that is trying to set up an airline in order to provide it with the financing it needs to enable it acquire aircraft to operate local routes,” he added.

Oramah said that Afreximbank’s intention was to ensure that all its member countries enjoyed the benefits of their membership.

Comoros joined Afreximbank as its 46th participating state on Sept. 12, 2017.

Assoumani said the government would work with the bank to ensure successful implementation of any transactions.

He added that Comoros required support in exploiting some of its resources and in adding value to its products, particularly in the areas of agriculture, fisheries and inter-island transportation.

The Afreximbank delegation subsequently held a meeting with Said Ali Said Chayhane, the Minister of Finance; Dr. Younousa Imani, Governor of Central Bank of Comoros, and Fouday Goulame, Commissioner General, National Planning, to discuss the technicalities.

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.

Afreximbank is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The bank is headquartered in Cairo.

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Afreximbank disburses £100m facility to support Africa’s integration

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Projects

Abuja,  April 18, 2019 The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has disbursed 100 million Euros  revolving global credit facility to Mota-Engil Africa company to enable it implement key development projects in Africa.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, Afreximbank’s President said this in a statement signed by the bank’s Head of Media, Mr Obi Emekekwue on Thursday in Abuja.

Oramah said the projects included the construction of trade-carrying and trade-supporting infrastructure required for the acceleration of the integration process on the continent.

He said the facility would strengthen Mota-Engil Africa’s capacity to carry out projects critical to reducing transaction costs for businesses.

According to him, it will also grow intra-regional trade, ease movement of goods, services and people, boost employment and stimulate economic activity in Africa.

According to Oramah, the transaction is expected to lead to increased activity in a number of economic sectors, including petroleum and petrochemicals.

Oramah said it was also supposed to increase heavy equipment supplies, spare parts supplies, architectural services and  public revenues from an expansion in economic activity in various countries.

Mota-Engil Africa is a significant player in intra-African trade as evidenced by the volumes of goods and services it procures from and distributes to African countries where it executes contracts.

Some of the infrastructure developed by the company, including ports and railways served multiple countries.

The company had  a robust backlog of strategic projects in Africa in excess of three billion Euros.

It covered sectors such as construction, mining, power, medical, infrastructure management, waste management and other concession businesses.

Oramah said that with the easing of mobility of goods, services and people across African borders foreseen under the transaction, there would be an increase in intra-regional trade.

This,  he said would lead to creation of jobs, increase in foreign exchange earnings and growth in government revenues.

On the expected outcomes,  he said it would enable African governments improve the quality of life of their citizens in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said it would also contribute to implementation of the goals of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

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Economy

Afreximbank, AU to engage digital technology to eliminate bottlenecks in African trade

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Afreximbank

Lagos, April 16, 2019 The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it will soon engage digital ecosystem with the support of the African Union (AU) to eliminate the major bottlenecks to trade flow within Africa.

The statement, issued in Lagos on Friday, was signed by Mr Obi Emekekwue, the Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management in Afreximbank.

It said that the digital ecosystem would improve access to trade information, which it identified as one of the major constraints to intra-African trade and investments.

“This is why many African countries are importing products from outside the continent while neighbouring countries are exporting the same products at a much lower cost.

“It is to address the challenge that Afreximbank and the African Union are working to use digital technology to improve access to trade information and facilitate the use of African national currencies via intra African trade settlements,” it said.

It added that Afreximbank was developing a focused programme to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the continent since SMEs were vital to unlocking intra-African potential.

It lauded IGD for facilitating discourse on important African issues over the years; hence its close partnership with the initiative.

Afreximbank also quoted Leila Ndiaye, President and Chief Executive Officer of IGD, as saying that IGD was supporting Africa’s growth and development agenda and pushing to unlock intra-African trade through SMEs growth and development.

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.

Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organisation, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations.

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

Afreximbank had total assets of $13.4 billion as at Dec. 31 2018.

The bank, headquartered in Cairo, is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s) and BBB- (Fitch).

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Economy

Afreximbank records $285m income  in 2018

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Income

Abuja,  April 7, 2019 The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has shown strong financial and operational performance in 2018 with a total comprehensive income of 285.4 million dollars.

Afreximbank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, disclosed this in a statement signed by the bank’s Head of Media, Mr Obi Emekekwue on Sunday in Abuja.

 Oramah disclosed that  the sum is the bank’s abridged  audited financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018.

According to him,   the total comprehensive income reflects a solid growth of 24 per cent compared to 2017 performance of 229.8 million dollars.

He said the increase was mainly due to a higher net income in the period under review which amounted to 275.9 million dollars compared to 220.5 million dollars recorded in 2017.

He said the bank’s total assets grew by 13 per cent from 11.91 billion dollars as at  Dec. 31, 2017 to 13.42 billion dollars as at Dec. 31, 2018.

He further said there was solid growth in the net loans and advances, which increased by 30.3 per cent.

Oramah said the performance was a reflection of the strength of Afreximbank’s underlying business while restating commitment to driving the bank’s strategic objectives to strong orderly growth in assets and earnings.

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