Top financial institutions in Africa are to gather in Abidjan from May 2 to May 3 for the first continental conference on the current state of intra-African trade finance and payment systems.
A statement on Monday by the organiser, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), said the aim was to identify solutions to the financing challenges confronting intra-African trade.
“This conference is borne out of the overwhelming consensus on the pivotal role that intra-regional trade has played in the development of other regions of the world.
“It is to find out the critical role it could play in the process of driving growth and structural transformation in Africa,” the statement quoted Dr Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, as saying.
Oramah said the conference was conceived as part of concerted efforts by Afreximbank to ensure immediate and effective implementation of its recently-launched Intra-African Trade Strategy.
According to him, the opportunity to share innovative solutions to trade finance and payment systems is critical at a time when international banks are either leaving African markets or are scaling-down their financing.
Participants in the conference will include chief executives and senior representatives of banks, law firms, think tanks, export-credit agencies, logistics companies and regional economic communities.
Others are the African Union, central banks and other financial institutions involved in supporting trade in Africa.
Also in attendance will be trading companies engaged in intra-African trade for which effective trade financing mechanisms and payment systems remain a major challenge. (NAN)