By Staff Reporter
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) was delighted to host African Ambassadors in Cairo and officials of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Egyptian Ambassadors awaiting deployment to African countries, to a high-level dinner briefing reception in Cairo on 4th October 2022. The reception delegation was led by Dr. George Elombi, Afreximbank’s Executive Vice President, in charge of Governance, Corporate and Legal Services.
The briefing dinner was organised to enhance relations with the African Ambassadors, as representatives of their respective African Governments – the principal owners of the Bank. The briefing session was jointly chaired by the Dean of African Ambassadors in Egypt, the Ambassador of Cameroon to Egypt, His Excellency Dr Mohamadou Labarang, and the Assistant Under-secretary for African Affairs, Mr. Sherif Eissa.
Recognising that the occasion coincides with a period in which many African countries are confronting the economic cost of the Ukraine crisis, the reception provided a key opportunity for Afreximbank to explain its Ukraine Crisis Adjustment Trade Finance Programme for Africa (UKAFPA), designed to shore-up trade liquidity among African countries most impacted by the Ukraine crisis and to ensure access to essential imports, including oil, fertilisers, and wheat. The Bank also presented Afreximbank’s strategic plan to Ambassadors, a programme closely aligned to – and derivative of – the continental aspirations encapsulated in Africa Union’s “Agenda 2063: the Africa We Want”. Also presented to guests were Afreximbank’s suite of funded and unfunded programmes and the Bank’s broad portfolio of strategic programmes and initiatives designed to accelerate intra-African trade and industrial transformation within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
With the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic fresh in the minds of most African governments, the Bank outlined its initiatives to improve the quality of healthcare infrastructure and medical services delivery across the continent. Chief among these was Afreximbank’s African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) initiative, which is being implemented in partnership with leading global healthcare institutions (Kings College Hospital, London, and Christie’s Oncology Centre, Manchester). It will promote intra-African medical tourism by transforming the state of Africa’s health and medical services infrastructure through investments in world-class medical facilities, stemming the outflow of foreign currency caused by the pursuit of medical treatment abroad. AMCE will be a leading centre for R&D in clinical services and offer residency, training and observership placement programmes to physicians and medical students continent-wide. The centre will create the largest and most diverse biobank in West Africa, enabling it to attract global and pan-African partnerships – functioning as a continental reference facility.
Dr George Elombi, Executive Vice President, Governance, Corporate and Legal Services, addressed the assembled ambassadors, inviting them to take advantage of the Bank’s targeted offerings. He observed:
“Your governments own this Bank, so you must task the institution to deliver on its founding objectives for your various countries and the wider continent. African Governments and the African private sector jointly account for over 90% of the shareholding of the Bank. So, you must, collectively, guide our direction and flag the priority development needs for the Bank to support. Even if we can only execute a few, it’s a significant first step that will begin to transform our economies. You must take full advantage of the institution you created.”
His Excellency, Ambassador Sherif Issa, Assistant Minister for African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Egypt, welcomed guests to the event, saying:
“Our goal is to introduce the ten Egyptian Ambassadors poised for deployment in African countries to the Bank and their fellow African Ambassadors and to initiate discussions to explore opportunities to deepen cooperation between and among our countries. In just one example, Egypt can support the development of Afreximbank’s pioneering Africa Medical Centre of Excellence Project and its expansion or replication to other parts of the continent, improving our collective access to quality healthcare.”
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 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 the African UnionUnion African Union adopted was adopted (AU) as the payment and settlement platform underpinning 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.
For more information, visit www.afreximbank.com.