Afreximbank disburses $15 billion for intra-African trade
• AfDB seeks youth empowerment to transform Africa
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), said it has already disbursed $15 billion out of the $25 billion it committed in support of intra-African trade, under its current five-year strategic plan.
The region’s multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade, owned by African governments, private and institutional investors, and non-African investors, with Nigeria as a major stakeholder, noted that it that was delivering on the commitments it made in support of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
While declaring open the “Africa 2019: Investment for Africa Forum”, in Egypt, the bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said the funding has been helping to bridge the trade finance gap in Africa.He added that Afreximbank would soon commence the piloting of a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System, which will allow cross-border trade in Africa to be done in national currencies, thereby addressing the issue of high cost of payments.
Oramah also said the Bank is building a trade information portal, which would be launched by year end, to improve knowledge and access to critical trade information across Africa and was developing industrial parks across the continent.
It is also working with the African Union to organise the second Intra-African Trade Fair in Kigali, Rwanda, in September 2020, continued Prof. Oramah. The trade fair would underpin a market of 1.2 billion people, attract over 1,000 exhibitors and 5,000 buyers and generate over $32 billion in deals.
Meanwhile, African Development Bank (AfDB), has said the youth of Africa must be empowered to be competitive to play a more meaningful role in the continent’s economic transformation drive.
The bank’s Acting Chief Economist and Vice-President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Charles Lufumpa, said: “A skilled and empowered youth workforce is a valuable asset that can help African economies accelerate the momentum of their structural transformation and economic development.”
Since the inception of 2019 African Economic Conference (AEC), in 2006, it has fostered the exchange of knowledge on challenges facing Africa and hosted jointly by AFDB, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).Lufumpa believes this year’s forum titled: “Jobs, Entrepreneurship and Capacity Development for African Youths.” offers an “ideal opportunity” to revisit the debate on educating African youth and improving their jobs, skills, and capacity in light of recent continental and global structural changes.
“It is also the appropriate avenue for stakeholders to discuss innovative and successful practices to educate the youth, improve their skills, and create quality jobs amid high youth population growth and the current disruptive technological transformation,” he said.