Afreximbank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat harmonize efforts to develop trade in Africa

Today, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank or “the Bank”) (www.Afreximbank.com) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to amplify the impact of their strategically aligned joint efforts of promoting global trade leveraging Africa’s unique resource endowment. The MoU will allow the two organizations to pursue a collaborative framework for harmonizing and coordinating their efforts towards deepening key trade development activities on the continent.

Afreximbank and the WTO are part of an inter-agency partnership that is championing transformative change in the cotton industry in Africa’s Cotton-4 plus (C4+) countries, which include Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali as well as Côte d’Ivoire as an observer. The MOU will afford the Bank and the WTO Secretariat the opportunity to expand and deepen their collaboration to support the cotton sector beyond the C4+ countries. Their support will entail development of local and regional value chains of cotton in Africa as well as their integration into the global value chain.

Another area of collaboration under the understanding will be on Trade Finance matters, addressing non-tariff barriers to trade, the digital economy, capacity building, the oceans’ economic and fisheries subsidies, the sports and creative economies and trading in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

While speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank said: “The WTO Secretariat is a natural partner to Afreximbank given our shared mandate of promoting trade and trade-related activities. We are already working with the Secretariat on FIFA’s C4+ Cotton Initiative, for which we have committed financing for project preparation for cotton transformation projects in Africa. Formalizing our relationship today signifies that we can go beyond our present collaboration to include other equally impactful interventions across key economic sectors in Africa.”

“The Bank recently signed a Charter with Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) and the Rebranding Africa Forum (RAF) to build a robust sports’ economy, which will include commercializing and monetizing African made sports apparel and athleisure wear. This is yet another undertaking that will benefit from this MOU with the WTO Secretariat.” He added.

H.E. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the WTO Secretariat said: “The signing of this MOU is timely as it reflects some of the key priorities of many of our Members. I am particularly pleased to see that it will support Members’ efforts in Agriculture and Food Security, advance efforts to address harmful fisheries subsidies, and promote cooperation on Trade Finance. I am especially pleased that Afreximbank has committed to explore the opening of a finance window that would assist the C-4 plus countries on their journey to scale value addition on the continent. I look forward to seeing real, on-the-ground results from this partnership.¨

The C4+ countries have historically exported raw cotton for processing outside of the continent. Developing local industries to process and transform cotton into textile, could potentially create 500,000 jobs in the West African region. If harnessed well, it is expected that within the next 10 years, the C4+ countries could process up to 25% of their cotton crops. This undertaking requires circa US$ 5 billion in investment in production facilities and training for workers. Which in turn calls for capacity building, access to finance for businesses, and improved infrastructure.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Afreximbank.

Media Contact:
Vincent Musumba
Manager, Communications and Events (Media Relations)
Email: press@afreximbank.com  

About Afreximbank:
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying 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. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of December 2023, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$37.3 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$6.1 billion. Its total revenue amounted to US$ 2.6 billion during 2023. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure (together, “the Group”). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

For more information, visit: www.Afreximbank.com

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