Afreximbank 2018 Trade Finance Seminar opens in Casablanca today

A cross section of participants at last year’s seminar in Cape Verde

Afreximbank Structured Trade Finance Seminar and Workshop, organised annually by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has opened today in Casablanca, Morocco.

This year’s seminar and workshop is being organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Morocco, and it is the 18th of the series.

The seminar aims to equip African financial institutions, bankers and professionals from regulatory agencies, corporates and legal firms with skills to deal with the challenges of financing transactions under heightened global economic uncertainty.

The seminar will focus on the Fundamentals of Structured Trade Finance, with the expectation that by the end of the seminar participants would have acquired the skills and capacity to properly identify risks in typical trade finance transactions, and would be able to structure bankable trade and trade-related project finance deals of varying levels of complexity.

Even though it is now accepted that structured finance is an effective tool for financing trade in the context of uncertainty and economic difficulty, expertise in the field has remained in short supply in Africa; hence the development of two flagship courses, ‘Fundamentals of Structured Trade Finance’ and ‘Advanced Structured Trade Finance’, which the Bank offers in alternate years during the seminars.

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Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, had earlier indicated that the event has also become an important platform for African bankers and other trade finance practitioners to meet and network, thereby making a major contribution in boosting African trade.

This year’s speakers will include highly-rated experts from leading financial institutions and firms, as well as key financial services regulators from Africa and beyond.

Over 200 participants are expected to attend this highly profiled seminar, which will be senior executives from African banks and financial institutions, regulatory institutions, hedge-funds, Africa country funds, venture capital institutions, corporate entities engaged in trade, manufacturing and privatised infrastructure projects, Afreximbank’s trade finance and project finance intermediaries, African law firms and insurance firms.

About 1,600 African trade finance professionals have taken part in the seminars and workshops since they were introduced in 1999, and the 2017 seminar and workshop was held in Cape Verde.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organisation; and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved about US$60billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about US$8.5billion in 2017. Afreximbank had total assets of US$11.9billion as at 31 December 2017 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo.

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