Unlocking Africa’s trade potential features high on Afrexim Bank agenda
Punting the funding potential of the African Export Import Bank at its 24th Annual General Meeting earlier this month in Kigali, Rwanda, bank president, Dr Benedict Oramah announced that the institution’s cumulative facility approvals had reached US$50 billion after record approvals of US$10 billion in 2016.
The bank’s total assets reached around US$12 billion in 2016, jumping 64% from a year earlier.
“Loans growth quickened by about 65% to reach US$10 billion and constituted 87% of total assets. Net income rose strongly by 32% from US$125 million in 2015 to US$165 million in 2016 on sharply rising interest income, which increased by 30% from US$372 million to US$484 million. New equity injections and internal capital generation raised shareholders’ funds by 28% to end 2016 at US$1.63 billion,” stated Oramah.
Since the last previous AGM, Sao Tome and Principe, Djibouti, Burundi, South Sudan and Madagascar have joined the bank as Participating States, bringing the number of Participating States and Shareholder countries to 45. Togo, Econet Global, Locafrique of Senegal, Atlantic Financial Group, and MBCA Bank Limited of Zimbabwe also became new shareholders in the bank’s equity.
Dr Oramah said that the Bank had received one-notch increase in the its long term credit rating by Moody’s, from Baa2 to Baa1, as a result of a credit enhancement which it implemented to strengthen the quality of buffer conferred by its callable capital.
Dr Peter Larose, Minister of Finance of Seychelles and Chairman of the General Meeting of Shareholders, said that despite the challenges, Afreximbank had continued to validate the wisdom of its founders who created an institution to assist the continent in trade funding.
“A shining example was the Countercyclical Trade Liquidity Facility, which was developed to avail foreign currency liquidity to African central banks to cushion them from the impact of adverse economic conditions, and under which US$6.45 billion was disbursed by end of 2016, going a long way in stabilizing the economies of beneficiary economies,” he said.
Dr Larose announced that that the Bank’s Board of Directors had proposed a dividend declaration of US$37.96 million to shareholders, a 32% increase on the US$28.82 million declared the previous year.
Activities related to the AGM began on 28 June with two days of seminars, followed by the meeting of the Afreximbank Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa.
More than 100 speakers, including ministers of trade, central bank governors, academics, African and global trade development experts, and business leaders, spoke during the four days of the Annual General Meeting under the theme “unlocking Africa’s trade potential.