The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has appointed Kanayo Awani as managing director of its intra-African Trade Initiative.

Awani was previously director of Afreximbank’s trade finance and branches department, managing the bank’s business development efforts in trade finance across Africa. In her new role, she will oversee the execution of the bank’s intra-African trade strategy. The aim is to raise the level of intra-regional trade in Africa by 50% in the next five years, to reach a trade volume of US$250bn.

Before joining Afreximbank in 2009, Awani worked at Citigroup, her last position being that of vice-president and head of industrial and commercial corporates in Nigeria.

“Kanayo brings many years of strong real-world experience in intra-African trade finance to this important assignment,” says Afreximbank president Benedict Oramah, adding she had demonstrated unusual commitment to the vision of Afreximbank and exhibited the determination required for the effective delivery of the bank’s goals.