African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is ready to disburse US$40 billion to support intra-African trade over the next five years, according to the bank's president and chairman, Benedict Oramah.

Speaking at the opening of the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) in Durban last week, Oramah added that Afreximbank will also provide letter of credit (L/C) confirmation lines to African banks.

Afreximbank also used the trade fair to underline its position as a financier of the development of trade infrastructure across Africa with the signing of several major business transactions.

Bank participation

"It is our aim to onboard 500 banks with aggregate lines of over eight billion US dollars. The bank has so far onboarded nearly 480 and [Afreximbank] is today the bank with the widest messaging links with African Banks," Oramah said.

In addition, "we are also providing L/C confirmation lines to African commercial banks to support cross-border trade," he added.

High profile event

The week-long IATF21 attracted over 10,000 delegates and was organised by Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union and the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Seven African heads of state attended the opening ceremony.

Major business transactions

During the week, Afreximbank signed several major business transactions to underline its position as a key funder of the development of trade infrastructure across Africa.

Afreximbank agreed to a US$10 million facility to Fidelity Bank to enable it to finance trade and trade-related transactions across the continent. Proposed as a one-year revolving facility, with funds being utilised for short-term trade transactions on a case-by-case basis, the facility will be applied to projects in critical sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, power and energy.

An agreement was also reached for Afreximbank to issue a line of credit to Senegal's Banque National de Developpement Economique enable the Senegalese back to enhance its efforts to promote factoring across Africa.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.