Afreximbank rolls out tools to spur trade

Tuesday September 14 2021
Afreximbank headquarters

Afreximbank headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. The bank has rolled out infrastructure for use by both governments and private sector to increase intra-continent trade. PHOTO | COURTESY | AFREXIMBANK


The African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) has rolled out infrastructure for use by both governments and private sector to increase intra-continent trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

One of the products is the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), a centralised payment system to limit the cost and lengthy correspondent involved in banking relations and settlements. The bank considers it a simple, low-cost and risk-controlled payment clearing and settlement system.

In a recent interview with The EastAfrican in Nairobi, the bank’s CEO Kanayo Awani said the participation and contribution of the Kenyan public and private sectors but especially women was key to the success of the AfCFTA is.

Awani made the remarks on the sidelines of a road show to create awareness of the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 to be held in Durban, South Africa from November 15 to 21.

Afreximbank seeks to be Kenya’s go-to development partner.

“Afreximbank wants to support Kenya address constraints to industrialisation by supporting infrastructure needs and facilitate the production of value-added exports and services,” said Awani.


Affirmative action

This will be done through development of agro-processing, light manufacturing and tradeable service sectors, while ensuring markets for the goods and services.

Over the past decade, Afreximbank has provided financial support in excess of $2.75 billion to Kenya through a range of interventions targeting the country’s public and private sectors.

Afreximbank’s interest comes at a time when both Kenya and other EAC partner states are encouraging women to take advantage of the AfCFTA.

“Women own approximately 40 percent of businesses in the EAC, but they face challenges including limited market knowledge, low access to capital and credit, limited access to information, limiting cultural practices, attitudes and beliefs and low levels of education,” said Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the EAC Director General for Customs and Trade.

“However, we expect that AfCFTA would result in, lowering business costs, promote local content and provide a platform for settling disputes.”