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February 26, 2024
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Summit: Afreximbank offers $3bn credit limit to Africans willing to invest in Russia

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By Ikenna Uwadileke

The African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) on Thursday in St Petersburg, Russia, announced a credit limit of 3 billion dollars to support African investors willing to exploit the opportunities in Russia.

The President and Chairman Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Dr Benedict Oramah said this at the opening session of the 2nd Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) is one of the media partners of the Russia-Africa Summit 2023 and its Managing Director, Mr Buki Ponle, is also attending the event.

Oramah said that the scheme under the African Trade Exchange would promote easy flow of trade between Russia and Africa.

“The African Trade Exchange is a platform which we use to pool African demand for grains and fertilisers against which Afreximbank has placed an aggregate credit limit amounting to three billion dollars to support the trade.

“The three billion dollars represents what is available and can be used on a revolving basis to support the significant demand for food and fertilisers on the continent of Africa,” he said.

Oramah also said that through partnership with the Russia Export Center, Afreximbank will be able to support African investors who are willing to exploit the opportunities in Russia.

While appreciating investments from Russia into Africa, he expressed optimism that African investors would also invest in Russia.

According to him, it is where we have two way investments that we can accelerate trade flows and economic integration.

“We projected moving two way trade to closer to 40 billion dollars by 2026, in the four years to 2021 the trade flows reached almost 20 billion dollars from about 10 billion dollars five years earlier.

“These are despite the COVID-19 pandemic and all the significant global difficulties.

`With the strong partnership between Afreximbank and Russia Export Center, we expect a doubling of the trade flows in the next four years.

“Some progress is being made and we believe that this is achievable,” Oramah said.

The Afreximbank President further said that the global food security challenges brought to the fore the critical role trade with Russia plays in guaranteeing Africa’s food security.

He said that a significant proportion of African economies depend on Russia for the supply of fertilisers and 30 per cent of African cereal imports from Russia.

According to him, ensuring that these trade flows continue remains the priority of Afreximbank and its African member states.

“That is why in the context of unprecedented global uncertainties, Afreximbank has been working with the African Union Commission, the United Nations System and our Russian partners to use the e-commerce African Trade Exchange.

“This will facilitate seamless flow of goods and payments in any currencies the sellers and buyers choose and in a transparent manner,” he said.

Oramah expressed Afreximbank’s readiness to offer trade services, easy confirmation facilities and payment services under the African Trade Exchange platform.

“We look forward to continuing this effort with our Russian partners and using this platform to ease access to grains and fertilisers,” he said.

Oramah who said that 300 million Africans go hungry daily emphasised the need for effort towards ensuring food security.

“It is important that we all do our best to make sure that until we begin to achieve food sovereignty that we ensure that food security is attained.

“Beyond the immediate food security priorities, Afreximbank and the Russia Export Center are collaborating to promote trade and investments in other critical sectors.

“This is with emphasis placed on those activities that will help integrate the African economy and advance the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA),” he said.

Oramah expressed the bank’s readiness to offer array of products to support investments in agriculture, industrial sector, parks, health and other critical infrastructure.

“By the end of the summit, I hope that Russia and Africa will have strengthened their solidarity, laid the foundation for rebuilding the supply chains for grains and fertilizers trade which is today a bit broken.

“This is important so the billions of dollars in the trade can continue,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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