Business

$25 billion to be mobilised for intra Africa trade

KALONDE NYATI, Kigali, Rwanda
AFRICAN Export and Import Bank (Afrexim) is in the next five years expected to mobilise US$25 billion to support intra Africa

trade.
Speaking on the sidelines of the on-going Afrexim bank annual general meeting, Afrexim Bank president Benedict Oramah said of the total funds to be mobilised, US$10 billion will be mobilised from within the African continent.
“We have set an objective of mobilising US$10 billion from Africa because the continent has had more than half a trillion dollars in foreign exchange reserves sitting in banks outside Africa and most times earning nothing, on the other hand, pension funds hold more than US$700 billion,” he said.
Last year alone, the bank mobilised US$4.5 billion from Africa.
He said African countries including Zambia can access funds from the bank to boost intra Africa trade and international trade, which remains a catalyst for growth.
Dr Oramah also observed that connectivity will go a long way in accelerating intra Africa trade saying the bank is ready to finance air transport projects and other projects that will accelerate trade.
“We need to set pace for the transformation of Africa. Africans are tired of over dependency on commodities because every time commodities crush economies go into recession and the bank has since set targets with the support of shareholders to address the challenges,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Oramah has called on African countries to emulate Rwanda’s good governance, public and private sector efficiency and good followership by the citizens to attract more investments and accelerate economic growth.
He said Rwanda was written off due to genocide but has emerged as a shining star in terms of governance, free movement of people in Africa hence need for other countries to emulate it.
At the same occasion, Rwanda Minister of Finance Claver Gatete said Africa needs to improve its competitiveness by addressing infrastructure gaps, accelerate trade and industrialisation.
Mr Gatete said Rwanda has among other initiatives, addressed air transport connectivity in Africa with its airline, Air Rwanda flying to 20 destinations in Africa.
The airline also flies to the United Kingdom and plans are underway to launch flights to the United States of America, among other international destinations.

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