The African Trade Finance Survey Report released in April by Afreximbank in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A), identified a huge Trade Finance gap of US$120 billion in the continent. Africa’s banking sector has a central role to play in reversing this trend.To help deliver this positive impact, Afreximbank hosted a virtual training programme with 18 financial institutions from 15 countries across Francophone Africa. Facilitated by Mr. Hugo Verschoren of GBRW Trainers London, the sessions provided an opportunity for industry professionals to understand the latest developments in the industry and discuss case studies with experts and peers. They also received training on trade finance products and global best practices, including Letters of Guarantees, Guarantees, Document checking, and relevant global rules.
Afreximbank also presented the Bank’s Trade Facilitation Programme, giving participants an insight on how they could draw on the Bank’s trade confirmation services, guarantees, and irrevocable reimbursement undertakings during de-risking processes.
Speaking at the opening of the training programme, Mr. Rene Awambeng, Director & Global Head of Client Relations at Afreximbank, declared that with good knowledge of the Trade Finance products, banks within the continent would be able to play their very important role in line with global best practice, which will engender positive development towards the boosting of intra-African trade, guaranteeing the availability of essential goods and raw materials, boosting industrial growth, creating new jobs and driving up living standards.
Alain-Thierry Mbongue, Afreximbank’s Regional Chief Operating Officer for Francophone West & Central Africa, assured participants that Afreximbank was available to collaborate with banks in the region to support trade and trade-related infrastructure development. He highlighted the key role the Bank was playing in boosting intra-Africa trade.
Okechukwu Ihejirika, Senior Manager Trade Services at Afreximbank, explained that the first stage of the training programme, dedicated to entry and intermediate level curriculum, would be followed later in the year by a second stage covering advanced subjects, to give participants an in-depth knowledge of products, trends, structuring methodology and sales mechanisms.
Representatives from Afreximbank also included Messrs. Teddy Ngidjol and Ernest Ahiagbe, both Managers in the Trade Services unit as well as Mr. Nabil Hamadou, Manager Trade Finance.