Afreximbank - Photo courtesy of bank website
CAIRO - 16 June 2022: The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) aims to pump $20 billion to support intra-African trade, according to Chairperson of the bank, Benedict Orama.
Orama added, in his speech during the bank's 29 annual meetings for 2022, in the presence of President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi, in the new administrative capital, that the bank has pumped $20 billion over the past five years to support African trade.
He stressed that thanks to the increase in the bank's capital, the bank has supported trade in addition to supporting projects and infrastructure and supporting contracting companies that have projects in the continent, noting that the bank has pumped $8 billion to support projects.
Orama indicated that the Afreximbank is providing support of about $2.9 billion in Uganda for a project to generate electricity, stressing that the Arab Contractors Company is the main component of the project.
He praised the greatness and nobility of the Egyptian civilization, which is embodied in the historical temples, the pyramids and the Sphinx, as well as the Suez Canal and the High Dam in Aswan Governorate.
Orama said that Egypt left wonderful traces of history, expressing at the same time his fascination with the new administrative capital.
The head of the African Export-Import Bank rejected the idea that the continent did not rise again, saying: "Now we stand to witness this work in Egypt - in reference to the new administrative capital - to say that we can if we have the will."
Chairperson of the Afreximbank indicated that the African Export-Import Bank launched in December 2021 a facility of about $7 billion for central banks and small and medium-sized enterprises, in order to confront and reduce the effects of the Coronavirus, and it also launched efforts to provide vaccines against this virus in African countries.
Orama added that the Bank responded quickly in response to the African Union's call to raise $2 billion in the form of a guarantee facility so that Africa can purchase 400 million doses of a vaccine against the Coronavirus, and the Bank also worked with the African Union to launch a compensation fund as structural elements to conduct the transformation in vaccine production.
He said that the crises witnessed by the African continent posed many new challenges to the difficulties in accessing grains, agricultural fertilizers and basic foodstuffs that many countries of the continent suffer from.
Orama indicated that the bank launched a $4 billion facility to help countries in light of the Ukrainian crisis, stressing that the bank has become one of the effective mechanisms in combating and preventing crises in the African continent, expressing its aspiration for a better future for the continent.
Orama stressed the need to implement the African Free Trade Area Agreement, pointing at the same time to the obstacles to the movement of goods and commodities from Cairo to Cape Town, explaining that the bank had spent over the past 5 years more than $20 billion in supporting the countries of the continent, and is currently planning to double this number over the next five years.
He stressed the bank's support for Egyptian contractors in establishing power stations in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as in Angola and Zambia, expressing at the same time his thanks to Hassan Allam, El Sewedy Orascom and Wadi Degla for their efforts in trying to implement many projects across the African continent.
Orama praised the launch by President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi in 2019 of the settlement and payments system across the African continent, which contributed to the circulation of currencies between African countries.
He pointed out that progress has been made in the scheme of regional road transport guarantees and cooperation between African countries in this regard, stressing the importance of the road linking Cairo and Cape Town because it will facilitate movement, work and the transport of goods between them.
Orama added that the bank has made remarkable progress towards implementing the African Free Trade Area project through the African Trade Portal, which was launched during the trade fair that was held in Egypt in 2018, stressing at the same time that Afreximbank will continue to support trade in the continent and abroad.
“Afreximbank is using Chinese and European systems to help develop Africa's banking system to keep pace with various updates and developments at the global level,” he added.
Orama expressed his happiness to work with Banque Misr, NAtional Bank of Egypt (NBE) , Banque Du Caire, and other banks in the continent.
Orama called on whoever wants to participate and join the bank, whether from individuals or strong financial institutions in Africa that can make a difference, concluding his speech by expressing to President Sisi his sincere thanks and pride for sponsoring this conference.