The African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) to support intra-African trade.

The two institutions aim to collaborate on projects to develop exports, build research capacity and influence policy. They will focus on private sector organisations to promote innovation.

ACBF and Afreximbank say they are complementary in contributing to the mitigation of country risks, as the bank improves African borrowers’ credit through country risk guarantees, while ACBF contributes to better economic policy formulation and management on the continent.

Afreximbank president and chairman of the board, Jean-Louis Ekra, says: “Through strategic partnerships and collaboration, our two institutions will be able to create the necessary synergies for the creation of the requisite human and institutional capabilities to support economic growth and development in Africa, by leveraging and pooling our individual technical expertise.”

ACBF executive secretary Frannie Léautier adds: “By working together to enhance capacity in African trade finance, this collaboration will not only improve the management of trade finance, but there will also be a knowledge management aspect to the partnership, through the joint organisation of seminars, workshops and other knowledge sharing events for public sector and among umbrella private sector organisations. A key output will be the publication of a journal of trade.”

The memorandum of understanding was signed at the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) annual meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, where speakers highlighted the need for infrastructure financing and regional integration in order to boost intra-African trade.

At the meeting, African countries were also advised to join credit rating agencies in an effort to access international funding more easily.

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