Togo has become the 40th African country to officially join the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) as a participating state.

According to Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé, the country’s decision to join Afreximbank was guided by the fact that the bank’s strategy, especially its intra-African trade vision, is consistent with Togo’s vision and economic development needs.

A statement from the bank says that Togo’s intention is “to grow its local private sector, increase energy production capabilities and develop much-needed transport and logistics infrastructure to be linked to the Lomé port and airport to serve regional trade needs”.

By becoming a member, Togo immediately becomes eligible to benefit from Afreximbank’s trade finance services and programmes which will allow the country to fast-track the development of its trade-facilitating infrastructure projects.

Afreximbank president Benedict Oramah has urged Togo to move quickly to conclude the ratification of the agreement as required under the terms of the 1993 Abidjan Agreement on the Establishment of the Bank.

“Given its strategic location in the region, Togo has the potential to become a leader in the services industry and to become a regional logistics hub for the trade of goods and services across Africa. Togo is therefore a very important country in the Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Strategy,” he says in a statement issued by the bank.

According to Oramah, with the signing of the instrument of accession, Afreximbank will identify immediate opportunities on which to work with Togolese entities, including the private sector, in order to deploy its trade finance programmes, particularly in the development of the services industry, the processing of agricultural commodities and the logistics sector.