Afreximbank announces the historic issuance of the first-ever multi-border transit bond for Zambia

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Afreximbank announces the historic issuance of the first-ever multi-border transit bond. The US$10 million transit bond issued in favour of Innovate General Insurance (IGI) of Zambia is expected to provide counter guarantees and boost IGI’s capacity to issue bonds to Clearing and Forwarding Agents in Zambia.

The Afreximbank African Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme (AATGS) was designed by the Bank to promote the seamless movement of goods across multiple national customs borders, as a means of improving efficiency and shortening the time for border clearances.

The US$1 billion Collaborative Guarantee Scheme is expected to accelerate cross-border trade in Africa and save the continent about US$300 million annually in transit costs. As a Pan-African Multilateral Financial Institution, Afreximbank is able to provide capacity to national sureties to enable them to issue bonds at affordable rates and facilitate intra-African trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Being one of the AfCFTA-flagship initiatives, the Collaborative Guarantee Scheme is being implemented in partnership with the AfCFTA Secretariat as well as Regional Economic Communities.

The facility to IGI, which is expected to facilitate the transportation of goods across its almost 5,700 km of borders with its eight neighbouring countries, is a realisation of the broader partnership between Afreximbank and COMESA Council of Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG-Council)

Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Afreximbank, commented: “This milestone is a realisation of the aspirations of Africa’s foreleaders about six decades ago at the inaugural meeting of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). We have, through this breakthrough, inched closer to the emergence of a single continental integrated market and dismantling the 110 borders that divided the continent into atomistic countries.”

Mr Luwa Luwabelwa, Director, Innovate General Insurance, stated that “the capacity provided by Afreximbank is timely and will allow the issuance of more affordable transit bonds to its clients, who are Clearing and Freight Forwarding Agents and most of them are Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Also talking about the partnership, Mr Trodson Keith Chemu, President of Zambia Freight and Forwarders Association (ZAFFA), thanked the Bank for the first-of-its-kind intervention to support the Customs Brokers and avail affordable transit bonds to facilitate the movement of goods in transit.

He added that the freight forwarder industry in Zambia is working tirelessly to implement a Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System to provide real-time monitoring of goods in transit to ensure the transit bonds issued are protected.

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 2022, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$31 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.2 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$86 billion between 2016 and 2022. 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.

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