The African Export-Import Bank and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation have launched a US$250 million facility to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine procurement and promote trade-based economic recovery.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, and Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC, signed the agreement during Prof. Oramah’s and the Afreximbank delegation’s formal visit to the ITFC headquarters in Jeddah.

The ITFC facility will aid Afreximbank’s COVID-19 response program in countries where both organizations operate, ensuring crucial products for local populations’ health and allowing for a faster recovery to economic activity.

The facility will also strengthen the Bank’s ability to provide trade finance resources at a time when the continent’s export development and industrialization are crucial.

Both Afreximbank and ITFC, the premier provider of trade solutions for OIC member countries, will collaborate to promote trade cooperation and demonstrate the benefits of South-South collaboration under the terms of the agreement.

Enhancing regional trade cooperation and bolstering commerce between African and Arab countries offers major economic benefits and is a strategic goal for all parties.

The facility makes it much easier for Afreximbank to carry out strategic actions. By increasing economic dynamism, it will boost employment, increase economic activity, and raise tax receipts.

“The facility negotiated between Afreximbank and the ITFC will allow us to scale up our impactful initiatives in African trade financing as well as our continent’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank.

“Africa’s long-term economic growth must be both intra-continental and outward-looking, and today’s agreement demonstrates a determination among leaders of Arab and African trade financing organizations to expand their collaboration.”

“Through this facility, ITFC and Afreximbank commemorate another milestone in our common responsibility to promote the recovery of our member nations, particularly in Africa,” stated ITFC CEO Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol.

“Vaccines must be delivered to Africa in order to save lives and livelihoods, reopen economies safely, and resume their economic growth agenda.”

The ITFC and Afreximbank collaboration began in 2017 with the signature of the first trade financing agreement, with the goal of facilitating and financing exports between African countries and between Africa and the rest of the world.

As part of the COVID-19 Response Package for the Support of the Agriculture Sector in Africa, ITFC and Afreximbank will expand their collaboration with another funding facility in 2020.

Under the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, both institutions are partnering on several projects. The Arab Republic of Egypt will host the 7th AATB Executive Committee meeting on the 5th of December 2021 in Cairo, in preparation for the AATB Ministerial Governing Board meeting on the 6th and 7th of December 2021, which will be chaired by Afreximbank.

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