By Amadou Labba Sall
African Export-Import Bank has embarked on a US$6.5 billion General Capital Increase (GCI) to expand its capacity to deliver on its core mandate and diversify its range of services. The GCI will enhance the Bank’s capacity to support the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for the continent, bolster post-pandemic recovery efforts for the economies of African nations and drive the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), among other strategic initiatives.
Recognising Afreximbank’s mandate and pivotal role on the continent, the African Union Ministers of Finance, the AU Executive Council, and the 34th ordinary session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State endorsed the additional capitalization of Afreximbank. African member states are expected to contribute up to US$1.5 billion as paid-in capital (US$3.9 billion in callable capital) to meet their total contribution under the GCI. The Bank’s Board of Directors opened the GCI to other shareholders of the Bank to contribute up to US$1.1 billion to enable them to participate pro-rata to their shareholding in Afreximbank, bringing the total size of the GCI to US$6.5 billion (of which US$2.6 billion will be paid-in).
The GCI was approved by Afreximbank Shareholders during their 28th annual meeting in July 2021. Afreximbank expects to double its annual lending capacity and balance sheet size during the next five years, thereby further contributing to the reduction of the existing annual trade finance gap in Africa.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, commented: “I would like to thank Afreximbank Shareholders for their support towards this important exercise. The General Capital Increase will enable Afreximbank to significantly increase its efforts to promote intra-African trade, drive export development and accelerate the continent’s recovery from the economic difficulties caused by COVID-19. This is a historic moment for the Bank; it presents a great opportunity to deepen the Bank’s capacity to deliver transformative growth across this continent.”
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.