Afreximbank President Dr. Benedict Oramah (left) and Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (right) in handshake after their audience in Bamako, Mali, on Thursday (Pic supplied: Afreximbank)

CAIRO - African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, will on Thursday officially launch its first ever intra-Africa trade fair set to be held in Egypt later in the year in December. 

The biannual event, which is earmarked to bring together more than 1,000 exhibitors and around U.S.$70 billion in trade deals, is aimed at encouraging Intra-Africa trade and support the implementation of the Africa Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA) which was signed by 44 countries in Kigali, Rwanda, in March. 

AfCFTA is aimed at deepening African economic integration, promoting agricultural development, food security industrialisation and structural economic transformation through single-air continental transport market with free movement of people, capital, goods and services. This is reported to have the potential to create a unified market of U.S.$1.2 billion and a GDP of over U.S.$3 trillion in Africa. 

Benedict Oramah, president of Afreximbank, said prior to the launch that the bank was actively working with the African Union to ensure the realization of the AfCFTA, including assisting countries with information, market intelligence and financing. 

Speaking directly of economic benefits in Egypt, Oramah said the AfCFTA has the potential to increase Egypt's trade with the rest of Africa by at least five fold.

Oramah said that over the last few years, Afreximbank had championed the growth of trade and investment flows between Egypt and the rest of Africa, providing about U.S.$5 billion in trade financing to Egyptian entities in the last three years and launching a $500-million Egypt-Africa Trade Promotion Programme in 2015.

Recently, Afreximbank signed a U.S.$500-million financing package with the Export Development Bank of Egypt for financing Egyptian exports into Africa.

Oramah is set to brief the media about the upcoming trade fair later on Thursday before participating in a panel discussion with investors and government stakeholders. 

- African News Agency (ANA)