The African Export-Import Bank and US Eximbank have signed a $500m MoU to increase trade and investment, especially to help revive and re-fleet African airlines.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank revealed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the side-lines of the ongoing US-Africa Leaders’ Summit.
Oramah said through the renewed partnership, the 2 banks would support trade and economic integration in Africa by helping to support other technical supports and facilitate strategic investments in healthcare.
Oramah said that the MoU would also facilitate power and transportation infrastructure, including rail and road projects, as well as investments in renewable energy projects.
“We will use our platform and relationship to promote the creation of regional supply chains by through supporting transportation, rail and road infrastructure, healthcare, and renewable energy.
“We also support diaspora engagements, especially the creative industry, which is something we have as a priority and the U.S. government also has as a priority.
“We expect that this engagement we have had will promote the work we are doing to support the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).
“It will make it possible for us to support industries to bring in heavy equipment and capital goods needed to create manufacturing capacity.
“It will also enable us to have access to the kind of infrastructure goods that are required to create capacities for production on the continent,” he said.
He described the U.S. market as the largest market in the world, saying that by improving relations and creating opportunities for trade, Africa could have access to help pull billions of people out of poverty, as it did Asia.
He states that “U.S. is the country’s largest pool of capital. By creating the environment to attract this capital, we are going to be able to support the kind of investments that will enable us to do value addition in our continent, especially solid minerals and agriculture products.
“It will help us to push ahead as a trade destination hub for venturing into the US, given the fracturing of the global supply chain that we are beginning to witness. Africa has a large diaspora in the US,’’ he said.
Oramah said it was a good thing that President Joe Biden’s administration had issued an executive order to strengthen African diaspora engagement.
He said that diaspora sources of foreign direct investment, marginal remittances, and skills were also market for us, noting that the banks would fully leverage the benefits of a large pool of African diaspora here.