Afreximbank says Russia-Africa trade volume hits $20bn in 3 years

Africa leaders at the Summit with Russia

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says trade between Africa and Russia has doubled to about $20 billion as against $10 billion in the past in three years.

A statement on Thursday by Mr Obi Emekekwue, Afreximbank’s Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management, quoted the bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah as saying this at the ongoing Russia-Africa Economic Forum in Sochi, Russian Federation.

Oramah said that Africa had achieved this figure through the bank’s engagement with the Russian Export Centre to promote trade between the two sides.

Afreximbank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.

The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.

The two-day Russia-Africa Economic Forum is being co-organised by the Russian Federation through the Roscongress Foundation and the Russian Export Center, and Afreximbank.

It is aimed at providing a platform for African and Russian businesses to connect in order to promote increased trade between Africa and Russia.

The Russian Export Centre is a shareholder in Afreximbank.

Oramah told the first-ever Russia-Africa Summit attended by about 50 African countries and other participants that the trade volume would double in the next two years.

He said Afreximbank would achieve this by offering guarantees and other programmes to address certain risk perceptions and increase trade.

According to him, the bank is also working with the Russian Export Centre to create a trade information portal which will provide information to businesses to facilitate trade between the two sides.

He welcomed the holding of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum, saying that the event was an opportunity for Africa to find new partner in dealing with some of the challenges confronting Africa.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Africa was becoming increasingly attractive to Russian businesses as many of the countries had become centres of economic growth.

He announced that Russia had recently written off $20 billion of debt owed by African countries, saying that funds from those debts were being used to set up special programmes to support Africa’s economic development.

Putin added that the Russian Federation would work with Africa to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, in particular by supporting collaboration with the Eurasian Economic Union.

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, President of Egypt and current Chairman of the African Union, was also quoted by the bank as saying that Africa was embarking on a new phase of economic development by making strong efforts at regional and continental integration.

Al-Sisi said that Africa would welcome cooperation with partners willing to increase their investments and financial commitments in the continent.

According to President Al-Sisi, such cooperation must be based on mutual interest and the protection of African property in order to ensure sustainable economic development.