African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the East Africa Business Council (EABC) have launched the EABC – Africa Trade and Investment Council, with the goal of creating a platform for engagement and investment between the East Africa Community (EAC) and the rest of Africa, to unlock investment opportunities, private sector development and business growth.
Launched in Rwanda, the Council will help the private sector in EAC to engage with the rest of Africa with a view towards increasing access to intra-African investment as well as trade and market information through trade fairs and investment forums, while increasing knowledge and awareness. Through this arrangement, Afreximbank will provide a range of its financing instruments and trade facilitation initiatives to facilitate intra-African trade and investment under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Speaking at the launch, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, said: “We are delighted at the launch of the EABC-Africa Trade and Investment Council as it acts upon the ambition and commitment of the East African Community to achieve the objectives of the AfCFTA and the African Union Agenda 2030 – The Africa We Want. I look forward to the Council members taking advantage of the increased opportunities created by the AfCFTA. Afreximbank commits to support the trade and investment agreements generated from the EABC-Africa Trade and Investment Council.’’
Also speaking, Ms. Angelina Ngalula, Chairperson of the EABC, called on African governments to improve infrastructure connectivity, build manufacturing capacity and formulate a continental local content policy that encourages African companies to provide 40% of public procurement to accelerate economic growth and industrial development.