By Amadou Labba Sall
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has been granted land in Kampala by the Ugandan Government to build an Afreximbank Africa Trade Centre (AATC). The infrastructure will facilitate the flow of trade information and provide trade services across the East Africa Region.
The site, located at Nakasero in central Kampala, will house the landmark trade centre, which will host Afreximbank’s permanent East Africa Regional Office, as well as a world-class hotel, a business information centre, a large conference centre and a technology incubation hub. The Kampala AATC is also set to accommodate other regional, continental and global financial and development institutions.
Among other Afreximbank Africa Trade Centres on the continent, the Kampala AATC will make the Ugandan capital city an intra-African trade hub for the Eastern African region and help to position Kampala as a vital financial services centre.
Mr. Matia Kasaija, Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, handed over the land title to Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, during a ceremony held at the site of the future AATC on 3 October 2022.
“The Government of Uganda is pleased to host the Regional Branch office for Afreximbank. We look forward to a stronger partnership in development of the economic status of this great nation,” said Finance Minister Kasaija.
Afreximbank President Prof. Benedict Oramah, said: “We are grateful to His Excellency, President Yoweri Museveni, his Government, and the people of the Republic of Uganda for all the support rendered to Afreximbank over the years and, indeed, for this land donation.
“We greatly appreciate the hard work and sacrifices that finally brought this grant to fruition. We hope that our planned investment of US$120-150 million on this site, the economic impact it will bring and the opportunities it will create, will justify the sacrifices made.”
Prof. Benedict Oramah also announced that the commencement of construction should not be long in coming as a feasibility study and production of conceptual designs are currently underway and will be completed soon, after which plans for the start of construction will be finalised.
“Afreximbank begins the process of establishing a deep taproot here in Kampala, from where its activities will branch out and reach 11 countries of the East African region and the Horn of Africa,” he stated.
Until the project is finalised, Afreximbank’s East Africa Regional Office, which opened in 2019, will continue to be temporarily housed in Rwenzori Towers in Kampala. The land handover ceremony was also attended by members of Afreximbank’s management team and senior officials from the Ugandan government, including Afreximbank Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, Mrs. Kanayo Awani and Prof Ramathan Ggoobi, Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury of the Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development of Uganda.
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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Amadou Labba Sall on email@example.com