Africa will underpin the rebirth of the forfaiting business, said Dr Benedict Oramah, executive vice-president of Afreximbank, speaking at the International Trade & Forfaiting Association’s (ITFA) conference in Barcelona last week.

During the conference, the bank expressed its interest in becoming a member of the ITFA to help promote the association’s work across the continent.

“There are only two jumbo syndicated loans on the continent: [Ghana’s] Cocobod and [Angola’s] Sonangol: but it is a vast continent with vast needs, and most of that is being provided by short-term trade,” said ITFA’s deputy chairman Sean Edwards in a press conference. “Africa is a natural market for forfaiting, and historically, a missed opportunity.”

The ITFA has been invited by Afreximbank to its next conference in Cairo to address 60-odd banking delegates on the work that the ITFA is engaged in.

The ITFA currently has two African members: Nedbank and Rand Merchant Bank. Both South African banks joined at the end of August this year.