The number of African countries represented on the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) as participating states and/or shareholders has risen to 49 with the presentation of an Instrument of Accession to the Bank by the Central African Republic in Bangui.
The presentation of the instrument took place during a visit to President Faustin-Archange Touadéra of Central African Republic by an Afreximbank delegation led by Bank President Dr. Benedict Oramah, and follows the submission by Eritrea of its own instrument of accession on 20 November and the acquisition of shares by South Africa a few days earlier.
“We are pleased to welcome the Central African Republic and we are evaluating an initial list of five priority projects and transactions in the sectors of agro-processing, mining and tourism as well as trade-enabling infrastructure, involving local private and public entities, and amounting to a total of $71 million, for potential financing by Afreximbank,” said Dr. Oramah.
With its large territory and many natural resources, Central African Republic offers great prospects for regional trade, the development of industrial capacity and value-added exports, in line with IMPACT 2021, Afreximbank’s current five-year strategic plan, he added.
Responding, President Touadéra commended Afreximbank’s commitment to driving the transformation of trade in Africa and expressed confidence that the Central African republic’s membership would enable the Bank it support the financing of the country’s National Economic Development Plan, which is aimed at reviving major industries and developing the private sector.
The Afreximbank delegation also met later in the day with Simplice-Mathieu Sarandji, the Prime Minister, and with other members of the government as well as with some representatives of the private sector.
Under the terms of the Agreement for the Establishment of the Bank, which was signed by Participating States in Abidjan on 8 May 1993, countries that did not sign on before it entered into force are required to first issue an instrument of acceptance and accession and then proceed to formally ratify the Agreement in order to fully activate their membership of the Bank.
Membership of the Bank gives the Central African Republic access to the full range of products and facilities offered by Afreximbank, including trade and project finance facilities, guarantees, trade information and advisory services, support in the development of a local content policy and assistance in developing and implementing industrial parks and special economic zones.
Countries currently on the list of Afreximbank participating and shareholding states include Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, and Lesotho. Others are Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Afreximbank shareholders are a mix of public and private entities divided into four classes and consist of African governments, central banks, regional and sub-regional institutions, private investors and financial institutions, as well as non-African financial institutions, export credit agencies and private investors.