Afreximbank, US EXIM Bank sign US$500m MoU to enhance US-Africa Trade

Reta Jo Lewis, Esq., President and Chair of U.S. EXIM (left), and Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chair of Afreximbank, after signing the MoU in Washington, DC

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (U.S. EXIM) to enhance trade between Africa and the United States of America.

This development will also expand commercial engagements of the African Diaspora community in the U.S. toward facilitating transactions critical to the economic growth of both the U.S. and Africa.

The two banks will support trade and economic integration in Africa and across a broad range of trade-enabling sectors, including helping to revive and strengthen the African aviation sector.

Both parties will also facilitate trade and investments in healthcare, power, digitisation, Agriculture and Agro-processing, and transportation infrastructure including rail and road projects, as well as investments in renewable energy projects, most importantly, scaling support for industrial development across the African continent.

The MoU was signed by Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, and Reta Jo Lewis Esq., President and Chair of U.S. EXIM, on the sidelines of the U.S. – Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC.

Afreximbank and U.S. EXIM will also cooperate with other U.S. departments and agencies through the Prosper Africa initiative, a U.S. Trade and Investment Initiative that aims to increase trade and investment between the U.S. and African countries.

The Prosper Africa initiative also targets other organisations, businesses and investors from the African Diaspora community in the U.S.

“With the signing of this memorandum of understanding, we move from intentions to action and set the stage for our two institutions to serve as anchors for a renewed, vibrant U.S. – Africa trade and investment relationship,” said Afreximbank President and Chairman Prof. Benedict Oramah during the signing ceremony.

“As the political actors from the U.S. and Africa renew their commitments to a stronger alliance in today’s fractured world, our two institutions must convert the political intentions into concrete business, trade and economic gains for the expectant African and American people. The time to act is now! By entering this MoU with U.S. EXIM, Afreximbank is helping to open wide that window of opportunity,” he concluded.

On her part, U.S. EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis said the partnership that U.S. EXIM and Afreximbank have undertaken is very much part of the present administration’s commitment to revitalising partnerships and collaboration with Africa.

According to her, the MoU will be to partner with Afreximbank in an effort to create economic opportunity and job creation in Africa and the United States, as well as engage America’s African Diaspora – which will be strengthened and encouraged to maintain close, familial, social and economic connections with the continent.

About Afreximbank

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions which support the transformation of Africa’s trade structure – accelerating industrialisation and intra-regional trade, and 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 implementation of the AfCFTA.

Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries’ effective participation in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2021, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at about US$25billion, and its shareholders’ funds amounted to US$4billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$51billion between 2016 and 2021.

The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

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