The President of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Jean-Louis Ekra,has urged African banks to strengthen business relationships with the opportunities being provided by Afreximbank programmes.
A statement issued by Afreximbank in Lagos said that Ekra made the call at a two-day seminar for 80 bankers and officers of financial institutions from 16 African countries in Cairo, Egypt.
He said that the bank’s specialised training programme in structured trade finance was to enable African banks meet the needs of their different clients and partner institutions.
Ekra said that the training was to equip them to deal with risks in financing trade under a difficult
politico-economic environment and changing trade counterparts.
He said that Afreximbank introduced the annual seminar/workshop programme in 1999 to help to raise the structured trade finance capabilities of African banks and financial institutions.
Ekra said that the programme was for institutions actively engaged in promoting and financing African trade and trade-related projects.
The statement also quoted Mona Omar, the Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs of Egypt, as saying that Africa needed to keep pace with the development in the financial world.
Omar said that to keep the pace, African banks should resolve its skills gap and overcome its technical limitations.
She said that recent developments in the global and African financial environments meant that African banks must continuously introduce innovative and tailor-made financial products and services to meet the needs of their clients.
Omar told the participants that the seminar was to enhance the skills of African bankers and traders to play their intermediation roles and contribute to the socio-economic development of the continent.
According to the statement, the participants included bankers and officials from Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It said that several others came from the United Kingdom and the U.S.
The African Export Import Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors to finance and promote intra and extra-African trade.
The bank has its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.