The African Export Import Bank (Afrexim) held its 13th meeting of its advisory group on trade finance and export development in Africa last week, with the continent’s boom in commodity prices under discussion.

The theme of the meeting was “Africa and the new commodity boom -riding the tiger”, and an array of speakers made various presentations to discuss how best African countries can benefit from the high global commodity prices.

Following a welcome address by Jean-Louis Ekra, president of Afreximbank, the opening presentation was made by Razia Khan, chief economist -Africa at Standard Chartered. This was followed by a talk discussing commodity trade patterns and risk efficient financing structures and instruments given by Lamon Rutten, joint managing director, multi commodity exchange of India.

Afreximbank’s Okey Oramah, senior director, planning and business development also discussed the developing global carbon market and how Africa can capitalise on carbon as a new tradable commodity.

The afternoon session was dominated by a roundtable with panellists drawn from the academic world and commercial banks to discuss the theme: “The rise of commodities – opportunities and challenges for Africa.”

Topics discussed included opportunities in the agricultural sector and the metals and minerals market. Methods of risk mitigation, including the use of commodity funds and commoditised revenue flows were also debated.

An investment forum concluded the day’s events, with a representative from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre speaking about Ghana’s investment opportunities. This introduction was following by a chance for one-to-one business meetings between potential investors and Ghanaian businesses.

The meeting was also timed to coincide with the 14th general meeting of the bank’s shareholders which was held on Saturday September 15.