The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com) has entered into a framework agreement for the Export Agriculture for Food Security (ExAFS) Initiative with ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) and the governments of Chad, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Egypt. The initiative seeks to initiative to improve food security in Africa.
At a ceremony on the fifth day of the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023), Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, signed the framework agreement on behalf of the Bank.
Other signers were Robertine Walendom, Minister of Industry and Trade of Chad; Sosten Gwengwe, Minister of Industry and Trade of Malawi; Dr. Anxious Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development of Zimbabwe; Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt; and Gagan Gupta, Founder and CEO of ARISE IIP.
Afreximbank, working with strategic partners and member countries, is facilitating the implementation of the ExAFS initiative by committing US$2 billion to boost production, processing and intra-African trade in agricultural products and provide African farmers and agribusinesses with opportunities to access larger markets across the continent.
The initiative is intended to help address food insecurity in Africa, which includes a near 20 per cent hunger rate, by reducing dependence on other regions for much needed food commodities. ExAFS will also increase sales, lead to better prices, and improve profitability for Africa’s agricultural value chain stakeholders.
It will leverage upon the establishment of agricultural transformation centres (ATCs) – under a public-private partnership model – in agricultural production zones to provide facilities for agricultural produce from farming communities to be collected, sorted, stored, and transported as raw material for processing or distribution. ATCs will also provide additional services to farmers, including micro finance, basic social services, cold storage facilities, extension services and training.
Afreximbank will act as financier, facilitator and advisor and will lead the implementation of partnership activities while governments of pilot origin countries of the agricultural produce (Zimbabwe, Malawi and Chad) will play the role of policy enablers and ensure conducive environments for the ATCs. ATC anchor investors, such as zone developers, large scale commercial farmers, seed companies and development finance institutions, will invest in the ATCs and their necessary infrastructure and will be the primary purchasers and aggregators in origin markets while anchor buyers, such as the Government of Egypt, will be the primary export markets for agricultural produce.
About the Intra-African Trade Fair:
Organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) is intended to provide a unique platform for facilitating trade and investment information exchange in support of increased intra-African trade and investment, especially in the context of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). IATF brings together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services and to explore business and investment opportunities in the continent. It also provides a platform to share trade, investment and market information with stakeholders and allows participants to discuss and identify solutions to the challenges confronting intra-African trade and investment. In addition to African participants, the Trade Fair is also open to businesses and investors from non-African countries interested in doing business in Africa and in supporting the continent’s transformation through industrialisation and export development.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2022, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$31 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.2 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$86 billion between 2016 and 2022. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”).