Afreximbank and FCI’s regional factoring conference in Zimbabwe attracts over 200 participants

Categories: Press Releases

Harare, Zimbabwe, 26 April 2024: – In its ongoing commitment to establish factoring as a viable financing solution for Africa’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), thus bolstering their participation in intra-regional trade and industrialisation, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and FCI recently held a two-day factoring conference in Harare.

Centred on the overarching theme of “Empowering Economic Growth Through Innovative Factoring and Receivables Finance Solutions” and the sub-theme of “How factoring can serve as a catalyst for the financial inclusion of SMEs,” the two day workshop that was held on April 22 – 23, focused on the pivotal role SMEs are poised to play in intra-African trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Co-organised in collaboration with FCI, the global body for factoring, the conference provided a platform for in-depth discussions and strategic initiatives to promote and enhance factoring within the Southern Africa region.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade and Export Development Bank, Afreximbank, and FCI Board member, said:

“Factoring provides an important alternative to other traditional financing sources available for SMEs such as bank loans, leasing, venture capital. And while factoring is globally acknowledged as an alternative form of financing to SMEs as evidenced by the EUR 3.7 trillion global factoring volumes, a recent study by Afreximbank on the financing schemes employed by SMEs in Africa showed that only 90 of the 2,895 sampled (representing 9.2 percent), used factoring as a financing option. This is instructive for two reasons. Firstly, it shows that factoring has not yet taken off to the extent that it should, with Africa accounting for less than 1 per cent of global factoring volumes. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it demonstrates the huge potential factoring holds for our continent.”

She highlighted the contribution of Afreximbank in developing a model law that has since been adopted by seven countries, the provision of over US$100 million in financing, technical training to over 30 emerging factors in 2022/23 and over 3,000 delegates being exposed to awareness of factoring, with the sum effect of double growth in factoring volumes in Africa from EUR 21.6 Billion in 2017 to EUR 41.8 Billion in 2023. She added however that, despite the steady progress we have made in growing factoring, there remains substantial work to cover given the over US$330 billion SME finance gap per annum and overall factoring volumes of 1% in Africa.

“It is in this context that the theme for the workshop is not only relevant, but also timely, reflecting both the urgent need to grow factoring, and at the same time, highlighting the potential of factoring in promoting economic growth in Africa – as seen in Europe and America.” Mrs. Kanayo added.

Also speaking, Neal Harm, Secretary General, FCI, said: “Open account trade finance (Factoring, Supply Chain Finance) is one of the most crucial financial services that can assist the growth of SMEs and their local economy. It provides the necessary liquidity to SMEs by converting their accounts receivables or invoices into cash. There is so much opportunity to fill the trade finance gap that exists across the globe through Factoring and Open Account Trade Finance. The World Trade Organization recently reported a US Dollar 2.5 trillion trade finance gap – much of which is with SMEs and emerging markets. But receivables are a very strong and a reliable asset that is self-liquidating.  Factoring, Open Account, and Reverse Factoring are tools that can generate working capital to allow SMEs to grow.”

Harm also presented the just released preliminary World Factoring Statistics showing that the steady growth of factoring in Africa continues, with 2023 witnessing a notable 13.5% increase compared to 2022, reaching a total volume of EUR 47.48 billion. This figure however represents a paltry 1.3% of the global factoring volume of EUR 3.7 million.

In her remarks, Dr. J.T. Chipika, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, said: “The Factoring Conference comes at the right time, not just for Zimbabwe but also for Southern Africa to reflect and consider how best we can tap into the global and regional best practice in unlocking sustainable finance provided through factoring. Africa, as a continent can do better in promoting both international trade and factoring. We are grateful to Afreximbank who continue to support factoring in Southern Africa, including in Zimbabwe, where two-thirds of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is from SMEs and 60% of SMEs are women-owned, making factoring a gender- inclusive agenda.”

 She acknowledged that the Workshop comes hot on the heels of Zimbabwe’s new monetary policy framework introduced this month, and very timely in attracting 24 African countries and nine others to showcase the new Zimbabwe and its economic resilience. Afreximbank’s continuing support was recognised as a backbone for the Zimbabwean economy especially during its financial exclusion from capital markets.

The Deputy Governor further emphasised that factoring and receivable financing will only thrive in a stable macroeconomic environment “hence the importance of Afreximbank’s support to Zimbabwe towards attaining macroeconomic stability, especially in prices and exchange rates.”

Factoring Roundtables will be organised on the sidelines of the Afreximbank Annual Meetings to be held in Nassau, The Bahamas during June 12-15, 2024, FCI Annual Meeting in South Korea during June 9-13, 2024, and the Factoring Seminar during the Afreximbank Annual Trade Finance Seminar to be held in Namibia from June 1 – 4, 2024.


About Afreximbank

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of December 2023, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$37.3 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$6.1 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$104 billion between 2016 and 2023. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

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About FCI

FCI is the Global Representative Body for Factoring and Financing of Open Account Domestic and International Trade Receivables. FCI was set up in 1968 as a non-profit global association. With today close to 400 member companies in more than 90 countries, FCI offers a unique network for cooperation in cross-border factoring. Member transactions represent on average 50% of the world’s international correspondent factoring volume.

FCI is a non-exclusive organization, open to any company which is providing Factoring Services or plans to set up Factoring Activities but also to service providers to the industry.

FCI offers three major areas of activities:

  • CONNECT: the Business network supports cross-border factoring activities through which its members cooperate as export and import factors
  • EDUCATE: FCI promotes and develops best practices in both domestic and international factoring and related Open Account Finance products
  • INFLUENCE: FCI promotes and defends the industry with stakeholders and policy makers worldwide  |

Afreximbank Media Contact:

Vincent Musumba

Manager, Media Relations


Tel: +20 2 24564100 /1/2/3

Mobile : +201030121123

FCI Media Contact:

Gwendoline de Viron

Head of Marketing & Communication


Mobile/WhatsApp: +32 478 98 43 34