First Pan-African Trade Finance, Payment Systems Conference to Discuss Continental State of Industry

By Omer Redi

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 22 April, 2016 (IMC) Leaders of Africa’s top financial institutions will gather in Abidjan from 2 to 3 May for the first ever continental conference looking at the current state of intra-African trade finance and payment systems and at their impact on the drive to achieve enhanced trade among the countries of the continent.

Organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the Intra-African Trade Finance and Payment Systems Conference will provide a platform for industry participants to exchange information on intra-African trade finance and payment systems and to identify solutions to the financing challenges confronting intra-African trade.

“This conference is borne out of the overwhelming consensus on the pivotal role that intra-regional trade has played in the development of other regions of the world, but, in particular, on the critical role it could play in the process of driving growth and structural transformation in Africa,” said Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank.

Dr. Oramah said that the conference was conceived as part of a concerted effort by Afreximbank to ensure the immediate and effective implementation of its recently-launched Intra-African Trade Strategy.

According to him, the opportunity to share innovative solutions in the area of trade finance and payment systems is critical at a time when international Banks are either leaving African markets or are scaling-down their financing of trade in the region where access to trade finance remains a major constraint.

Participants in the conference will include chief executives and senior representatives of banks, law firms, think tanks, export credit agencies, logistics companies, regional economic communities, the African Union, central banks and other financial institutions involved in supporting trade in Africa.

Also in attendance will be trading companies engaged in intra-African trade for whom effective trade financing mechanisms and payment systems remain a major challenge, according to a press release Afreximbank sent to Ifriqiyah Media and Communications.