Barclays has established a desk to support UK-based companies trading in Africa.

The desk will be managed by Jon Cunha, who joins from Absa Capital (part of the Barclays group) in Johannesburg, where he was most recently senior trade originator.

Before this, he was associate director, Africa corporates at Standard Chartered for two years, director of new business acquisition at First Rand Group for more than two years, spent a year working with Western Union, a year with Omnex Group, and almost seven years as area and account manager for American Express.

He will report to Geoff Parry, UK head of global corporates and Jason Barrass, head of Africa trade finance.

The desk will advise businesses working in Africa on things such as documentary trade, structured trade finance and supply chain finance. Cunha describes its purpose as being “about leveraging the people, functions, geographies and products we already have in our network”.

Commenting on the launch, Barrass says: “Africa is a key home market for Barclays and one that is attracting greater attention and interest as more and more corporates look to do business with and on the continent. By bringing our extensive expertise and knowledge of the region closer to our UK and European-based corporate clients, we’re helping them to achieve their strategic growth ambitions.”