African trade fund to loan out billions

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it will disburse $90 billion (Sh9.3 trillion) to support African trade in the next five years.

The continental trade finance bank said the plan, covering 2017 and 2021, is to fund intra-African trade, industrialisation and export development as well as trade finance leadership and financial soundness on the continent.

“The philosophy behind it (strategic plan) is to build solid export manufacturing capacities as well as domestic and continental supply chains, which would facilitate increased flow of goods and services across Africa,” bank President Benedict Oramah said.

“It allows monitoring and measurement mechanisms that will bring together players in intra-African trade, such as the farmer, the processor, the manufacturer, tradable services provider, traders, financiers, logistics providers and policy makers.”

Since 1994, the lender has approved more than $41 billion (Sh4.2 trillion) in credit facilities for African businesses including about $6.2 billion in 2015.

Afreximbank had total assets of $9.4 billion as at April 30, 2016 and is rated BBB- (Fitch) and Baa2 by Moody’s.

It is currently establishing a regional hub in Kenya and is headquartered in Cairo.

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