Dr. Amani Abou–Zeid, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, visited the Cairo headquarters of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on Wednesday for a courtesy call on the Bank’s Senior Management and to discuss collaboration between the AU and the Bank.
Dr. Abou–Zeid took the opportunity to invite Afreximbank to participate in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa Week to be held in Egypt later in the year.
She commended Afreximbank for developing the Afreximbank Project Preparation Facility (APPF), saying that the product could play a key role in packaging investment-ready projects in Africa.
Receiving the Commissioner, Dr. George Elombi, Afreximbank’s Executive Vice President for Governance, Legal and Corporate Services, said that the Bank was committed to deepening its partnership with the AU, adding that it embraced the AU as a key partner for progress in its development agenda for the continent.
The Bank was committed to supporting the implementation of trade enabling infrastructure across Africa, given the significant benefits it could bring toward accelerating economic development and regional integration.
Presenting the APPF, Zitto Alfayo, Manager, Project and Asset-Based Finance, said that the Facility could be deployed to rapidly achieve bankability of infrastructure projects in the AU’s pipeline.
Rene Awambeng, Director and Global Head, Client Relations, said that the development of the continent’s railway infrastructure was a key sector for partnership between the two institutions, given the condition of the railway infrastructure and rolling stock in many countries. Afreximbank was keen to work with the AU to draw in development partners to that sector.
The meeting agreed that the Bank and AU would have further discussions to identify transactions which Afreximbank could assist to finance.
Also participating in the meeting were Gwen Mwaba, Director, Trade Finance; Dr. Robert Ochola, Director, Strategy and Innovation; Irfan Afzal, Director, Syndications and Agency; Mohamed Sayed of the Client Relations Department; Kingsley Mbah of the Advisory and Capital Markets Department; Ayman El-Zoghby of the Intra-African Trade Initiative; and Basim Hamza of the Export Development Unit.