Africa news

Published: October 15, 2019

Afreximbank’s safety net strengthens Africa’s new free trade agreement

As the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) gets underway, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) expects the agreement will boost trade both inside and outside the continent. We profile the bank’s efforts to promote African trade and forge partnerships internationally.

In September, Afreximbank announced a US$500mn facility for Nigerian manufacturers. The facility will help manufacturers take advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, and ultimately expand their trading across the continent. 

It will come as a welcome boost to Nigeria, which as one of the last African countries to sign the AfCFTA agreement, has historically shown some resistance to the trading bloc. Afreximbank said the facility would help manufacturers adjust to any difficulties that might arise along the way. 

“While the AfCFTA provides an opportunity for Africa to boost intra-African trade and accelerate the process of structural transformation, the implementation of the agreement will present a few challenges,” Benedict Oramah, president and chairman of the board of directors at Afreximbank, tells EMEA Finance. “The good thing is that, implemented with tenacity, these problems quickly go away.”

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