By Staff Reporter
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce (CCD) conducted a three-day business roadshow in the country, to promote the Bank’s programmes, facilities, and initiatives to stakeholders, including Government Agencies, Parastatals, Financial Institutions and the businesses community among others.
The roadshow consisted of a one-day seminar and two days bilateral meetings with key stakeholders across sectors.
Under the topic “Unlocking Djibouti’s potential as a gateway to regional trade”, the seminar had in attendance, key Government leaders, policy makers, and senior leaders from the financial, banking, private and corporate sectors.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Youssouf Dawaleh, President of the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the strategic alignment between the roadshow and the CCD’s mission, which is to inform and raise awareness of the national economic fabric and more particularly private companies on market opportunities, financing and other support available. He said: “Raising funds and Financing remains a continent-wide problem and our country is no exception to this situation. This results in limited growth for businesses and in particular SMEs”. “Afreximbank is a major player in the African financial market, and it was important to showcase its role during today’s event which is attended by many of the most influential stakeholders in the Djiboutian business community”, he added.
Mr. Amr Kamel, Afreximbank‘s Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development & Corporate Banking, and his delegation highlighted that Djibouti remains an important hub for African trade and the gateway of Horn of Africa and East Africa. To ensure that the business community benefited from the roadshow, Afreximbank highlighted various products, programmes, and initiatives such as the Intra African Trade initiative, Project Finance, Industrialisation and Export Development programme, Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme (AFTRAF), Afreximbank International Payment Services (AfPAY), the MANSA, Pan-African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS), among others.
Other keynote speakers included Mr. Ahmed Osman Ali, Governor of the Central Bank of Djibouti. He provided a background to the financial markets and the development of Djibouti in light of the country’s National Development Plan Vision 2035. In his presentation, the General Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Mr. Ali Dauod accentuated on the massive investments in strategic industries of Djibouti and emphasized on the opportunities which exist intra-Africa Trade, especially in light of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Mr. Amr Kamel, Afreximbank‘s Executive Vice President in Charge of Business Development & Corporate Banking, commented:
“We are happy to announce our commitment to working with Djiboutian commercial and development or investment banks to make financing accessible to the public and private sectors and small and medium-sized enterprises to finance trade and project deals in Djibouti. The Bank is keen to collaborate with Djibouti, other member countries and key partners to find solutions to these challenges. For instance, the recently launched Pan-African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS) will enable a buyer in Ethiopia to pay for goods supplied in Ethiopian Birr and a Djiboutian seller to receive Djiboutian Francs, while the two respective central banks settle the net position of the trades between themselves.”
Bilateral meetings were held with Hon. Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Minister of Economy and Finance; Hon. Yonis Ali Guedi, Minister of Energy & Natural Resources; Hon. Mohamed Warsama Dirieh, Minister of Trade and Tourism; Mr. Ahmed Osman Ali, Governor of the Central Bank of Djibouti; Mr. Abou Bakr Omar Hadi, Chairman of Great Horn Investment Holdings (GHIH) and Mr. Mohamed Sikieh Kayad, Chairman of the Djibouti Sovereign Wealth Fund (FSD). The Bank’s programmes for the development of Industrial Parks (IPs), Export Processing Zones (EPZs), Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Agri-processing projects, light manufacturing projects, among others, were discussed. The Afreximbank delegation also presented the Bank’s interventions to foster trade enabling infrastructure such as airports, seaports, terminals, railways, telecommunication infrastructure, power projects and renewables (wind and solar) as well as large manufacturing and heavy industries including oil and gas production and processing plants, liquefied natural gas plants, petrochemicals, and cement.
The Afreximbank delegation also met with the top executives of Air Djibouti, Société Internationale des Hydrocarbures de Djibouti (SIHD), the FSD as well as several Djiboutian banks.
The Bank’s team also had the opportunity to visit the Damerjog Industrial Development Free Trade Zone and was received by Chairman Mr. AbouBakr Hadi as part of the continued collaboration with Djibouti Ports and Freezone Authorities (DPFZA). Discussions were on furthering cooperation in trade & projects finance.
Executive Vice President Mr. Amr Kamel also paid a courtesy call to H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti at the State House. He reiterated Afreximbank’s commitment towards fostering the economic agenda of Djibouti.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. The Bank has a rich history of intervening in support of African countries in times of crisis. Through the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) launched in April 2020, Afreximbank has disbursed more than US$6.5 billion in 2020 to help member countries manage the adverse impact of financial, economic, and health shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has completed the development of a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2020, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at US$21.5 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$3.4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$42 billion between 2016 and 2020. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.