"Afreximbank has demonstrated its relevance, evidenced by the tremendous growth in its interventions on the continent and balance sheet in recent years."

Eric Intong

REGIONAL COO, ANGLOPHONE WEST AFRICA, AFREXIMBANK

June 07, 2024

Can you introduce Afreximbank and outline the company’s role in the African energy sector?

Afreximbank (African Export-Import Bank) has formally been described as a Bank of necessity. On 8 May 1993, an establishment agreement was signed by member states with a mandate to promote, facilitate, and finance intra- and extra-African trade. Since then, the Bank has played an instrumental role in transforming African trade through the provision of trade and project financing in addition to risk-sharing, advisory, and trade information, among many other products and services. Afreximbank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, with a strong regional presence across Africa and the Caribbean. 

The Bank’s shareholding structure is such that member countries are represented by either their Ministers of Finance or their respective Central Banks who form the class A shareholders, with class B shareholders being African private sector owned financial institutions and corporates. Classes A and B shareholders reflect a true Public Private Partnership (PPP), with class C shareholders being non-African institutions. The Bank’s Class D shares are issued as depositary receipts, which are listed on the Mauritius Stock Exchange. 

The Bank operates on a five-year strategic plan that is hinged on four pillars: Intra-African trade and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement; industrialization and export development; leadership in global trade banking in Africa, which is the pillar through which we support financial institutions to strengthen the financial sectors in our member countries; and financial sustainability. Afreximbank supports its member countries to reposition their economies and take advantage of the opportunities to promote sustainable development and respond to global crises such as the commodity super-cycle in 2015/2016 and the Covid pandemic. Afreximbank has demonstrated its relevance over the years in line with its mandate to be seen as a systemically important financial institution for Africa, evidenced by the tremendous growth in its interventions on the continent and balance sheet in recent years. 

Can you elaborate on the MOU signed between the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) and Afreximbank to establish the Africa Energy Bank and the strategy behind this? 

Being conscious of the need for sustainable development in Africa, Afreximbank is collaborating with APPO on the establishment of the Africa Energy Bank. The proposed Bank will support the implementation of an Africa-led energy transition and development strategy. The entity will accelerate Africa’s economic development, promote the continent’s transition to cleaner energy options in the long-term, and align with the core objectives of the African Union Agenda 2063 – the Africa We Want, and the Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). It is evident that the continent is confronted with myriads of development challenges evidenced by the stifling social and economic conditions including the attendant costs of transitioning to cleaner sources of energy. Therefore, the Africa Energy Bank will play an important role in addressing the financing challenges to the realization of Africa’s energy transition objectives and accelerate the quantum of investments in renewable projects across the continent. The Africa Energy Bank will operate as a pan-African developmental financial institution, and it is expected to be launched in 2024. 

What are Afreximbank’s key priorities for 2024 and beyond?  

The implementation of our strategic plan is important to us as it is intended to catalyze intra-African trade and the implementation of the AfCFTA, industrialization and export development. Afreximbank is a stalwart supporter of the AfCFTA and launched the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. We will continue to promote and finance industrialization in Africa so that the continent's resources are beneficiated in the continent and the value benefitted here to improve and grow African economies. Afreximbank will also focus on financing energy projects, especially clean energy projects, to ensure power security and a smooth energy transition for African countries.

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