The Russian Export Centre Group (REC) will collaborate with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to explore opportunities to develop Africa’s aviation industry and to support other sectors like mining, agro-processing, railways and the metals industry, the two institutions have announced.
The announcement followed the signing of a collaboration document during a meeting between Afreximbank President Dr. Benedict Oramah and Anna Belyaeva, Managing Director, International Business Development of the Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR), a subsidiary of REC. In January, REC became the latest international financial institution to join Afreximbank as a Class “C” shareholder.
President Oramah said that the collaboration was in line with the Bank’s strategy to promote intra-African trade and the industrialisation of the continent and would focus primarily on aviation.
“According to a study highlighting the high sensitivity of African trade to transport costs, a 10 per cent reduction in transport costs would increase trade by 25 per cent,” noted Dr. Oramah. “Given the limitations of road and rail infrastructure in Africa, the aviation sector is critical to Africa’s trade, growth and development objectives. As such, improving air transport infrastructure across Africa has become a priority area our Bank.”
He said that the collaboration with REC would involve the organisation of business missions to Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria to meet the authorities and key stakeholders in the local aviation industries to discuss their development plans and identify areas where they required funding and technical assistance.
The President said that, in addition to aviation, Afreximbank would to explore ways to deepen the partnership with REC to target other key growth sectors of African economies, adding that a pipeline of transactions in mining, metals and railway industries across Africa, was currently under review for potential financing by the Bank.
In her remarks, Ms. Belyaeva said that her institution was fully committed to a mutually beneficial collaboration arrangement that would contribute to the Bank’s development agenda.