By Amadou Labba Sall
The 2022 Afreximbank Trade Finance Seminar (ATFS2022) and Factoring Workshop opened on 3 October in Kampala, Uganda. The three-day programme of presentations, panel discussions, interactive sessions and workshops focuses on managing the challenges of trade finance in the context of increased global economic uncertainty and the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
In her Keynote Address, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, explained that the 2022 Afreximbank Trade Finance Seminar, which is being held for the first time in a face-to-face setting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, was geared towards building participants’ skills to handle the increased demand for trade finance following the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area and to address the challenges of financing transactions in the face of increased global economic uncertainty.
“This year’s Trade Finance seminar is designed to, among others, briefly refresh our understanding of the current crisis and its implications for our dear continent, introduce many of Afreximbank’s crisis containment programme, as well as programmes to accelerate trade development and expansion in Africa, while reminding us of the essential credit and compliance risk mitigation tools to mitigate the impact of these crisis on our various institutions,” Mrs. Awani said. “It will also help our understanding of the African Continental free trade Agreement, which is an important pathway for development as a continent and toward the Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.”
Ms. Awani added that ATFS2022 was also a platform for forging new alliances, networking, exchanging ideas and also negotiating deals, while building solid and dynamic relationships. The over 200 representatives from African financial institutions, joined by professionals from regulatory agencies, corporations and law firms, will benefit from the knowledge of some of the most talented, knowledgeable and experienced practitioners in the industry to lead discussions on the rich and informative content of the seminar.
Also speaking, Dr Michael Atingi-Ego, Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda, said that “the course content is particularly suitable because it blends traditional topics such as commodity finance, structured trade, and compliance with contemporary and emerging issues such as digitalization, harnessing trade data, and mainstreaming ESG in trade finance; not to mention the impact and lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic as well as geopolitical risks.”
Dr Michael Atingi-Ego also commended Afreximbank for championing the building of capacity for understanding international trade, trade finance and trade-related project finance and the various tools available to structure financing by instilling the skills required to meet the challenges of financing transactions, especially in times of economic uncertainty.
Earlier, Ms. Sarah Arapta, Chairperson, Uganda Bankers’ Association and CEO Citibank Uganda, who delivered the Welcome Address, said that this week’s trade seminar is very timely and most welcome not only for members of the Uganda Bankers’ Association, but also the other players in the economy who play a very important role in trade business and its facilitation.
The opening ceremony of the of the 2022 Afreximbank Trade Finance Seminar was graced by the presence of Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank; Mr. Moses Kaggwa, Ag. Director Economic Affairs, Ugandan Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Senior Officials of the Ugandan Government; as well as Directors and staff members of Afreximbank.
The ATFS2022 will be followed by a one-day factoring workshop which will feature a series of keynote presentations, panel discussions and practical case studies about factoring, in addition to sessions responding to delegates’ queries and concerns.
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.
Amadou Labba Sall, email@example.com