The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) have signed a 250 million dollar facility to provide funds for the bank to advance procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. A statement issued by Afreximbank yesterday said that the agreement was signed between Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank and Mr Hani Sonbol, chief executive officer ITFC in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The fund would also drive a trade-based economic recovery, the statement said.
It added that the ITFC facility would help advance Afreximbank’s COVID-19 response programme for countries in which both organisations operate, securing vital goods for the health of local populations and enabling a swifter return to economic activity.
“The facility will also enhance the bank’s capacity to provide trade finance resources at a time of critical need for the continent’s export development and industrialisation.
“The agreement extends Afreximbank’s co-operation with ITFC, the leading provider of trade solutions for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries, with both organisations working to promote trade cooperation and demonstrate the benefits of South-South cooperation.
“The enhancement of regional trade cooperation and reinforcement of trade between African and Arab nations promises significant economic opportunities and remains a strategic goal of both parties”, it added.
It also significantly facilitates Afreximbank’s execution of strategic interventions by promoting employment, increase economic activity and expansion of tax receipts by stimulating economic dynamism.
The statement quoted Oramah as saying that “the facility agreed between Afreximbank and the ITFC will allow us to scale-up our impactful interventions in African trade finance as well as our continent’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Africa’s long-term economic growth must be outward-looking as much as intra-continental and today’s agreement reflects a desire among leaders from both Arab and African trade finance institutions to increase our collaboration.”