By Staff Reporter

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) hosted a webinar on intra-African trade and investment on 20 October 2022, alongside the East African Business Council (EABC).

The conversation addressed key challenges confronting African businesses when approaching intra-African trade, recognizing that 80% of Africa’s small businesses have no access to trade finance and over US$5 billion is lost due to currency conversion during transactions. Afreximbank described the innovative products offered by the Bank to boost access to finance and cross-border payments under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Dr. Gainmore Zanamwe, Head, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank, also praised public-private partnerships in East Africa, and called on this model of co-operation to be replicated across the continent. He suggested that a combination of industrialization and the development of regional value chains – as well as a reduced dependence on commodities – would create quality jobs and accelerate economic interaction between African businesses.

EABC Chairperson Emeritus Dr. Vimal Shah told attendees of the vital importance of integrating fintechs into Pan-African Payment and Settlement Systems (PAPPS), to ease the process and reduce the cost of doing business transactions across Africa.

The EABC-Africa Trade and Investment Council (EATIC) – launched in June 2022 by both Afreximbank and the EABC – was cited as a key driver of opportunities generated by the AfCFTA, creating intelligence on markets and investment opportunities across the continent.

Mr. Dennis Karera, EABC Vice Chair & EATIC Focal Point called for structured engagement for private sector with the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana through Regional Business Councils to ensure private sector proposals on AfCFTA negotiations are taken on board to bolster intra-Africa trade, investment economic growth and prosperity.

Attendees were addressed by prominent leaders in pan-African trade development, with the discussion also featuring contributions from: John Bosco Kalisa, EABC Chief Executive Officer; John Bosco Sebabi, Deputy Head of Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS); Emily Mburu-Ndoria, Director of Trade-in-Services, Investment, Intellectual Property Rights and Digital Trade, AfCFTA Secretariat; and from Afreximbank, Lizanne Case, Senior Manager of Trade Intelligence Solutions, and Matimba Changala, Manager, Intra-African Trade Bank.


About Afreximbank

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. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched 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 2021, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at about US$25 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$51 billion between 2016 and 2021. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

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About East African Business Council

The East African Business Council (EABC) is the regional apex body of private sector associations and Corporates from the 6 East African countries. It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the private sector in the integration process of the East African Community. EABC vision is a borderless East Africa for business and investment. The primary mission is to promote sustainable private sector-driven growth in the EAC.

About the EABC-Africa Trade and Investment Council (EATIC): The EATIC is a regional economic Community Business Council under the Afreximbank’s Country-Africa and Regional Economic Community Business Councils (CARBC) programme. The CARBC programme is a Bank initiative that aims to facilitate the emergence and institutionalization business councils with the aim of expanding trade and investment with the rest of Africa under the AfCFTA.