Uche Usim, Abuja
The President of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Dr. Benedict Oramah, has disclosed that about $25 billion will be disbursed by the regional bank in support of intra-African trade during the five years ending in 2021 under an Intra-African Trade Strategy it launched in 2016 in anticipation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
But Nigeria, South Africa and nine other nations did not sign the pact with President Muhammadu Buhari insisting that he would not accent to any deal that will either stunt the growth of local entrepreneurs or alter the nation’s security architecture.
In a statement sent to Daily Sun from Afrexim, Oramah, while speaking during a special luncheon for heads of states and delegates attending the signing of the agreement for the launch of AfCFTA in Kigali, Rwanda, said the strategy drew inspiration from the African Union’s action plan for boosting intra-African trade and the action plan for accelerated industrial development in Africa.
“It sought to contribute to providing end-to-end and comprehensive solutions to smoothen the conduct of cross-border trade and investment activities across Africa. The signing of the AfCFTA agreement promised to build a solid foundation for prosperity for all Africans.
“Afreximbank is, therefore, prepared, willing and able to play its role to make sure that opportunities created by the history-making step taken by African leaders are fully realised,” the Afrexim Bank President explained.
He announced that as part of the Intra-African Trade Strategy, Afreximbank had opened credit lines amounting to $800 million to 55 banks across Africa to facilitate the confirmation of letters of credit in support of intra-African trade.