The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) has rewarded Sace by electing the Italian export credit agency (ECA) to its board.

Michael Creighton, responsible for Sace’s business in Sub-Saharan Africa, will represent the ECA on the board, which also includes members from a number of important entities in Africa, including Kenya’s ministry of trade and Zambia and Malawi’s ministry of commerce, trade and industry.

This follows Sace’s membership of ATI being approved in principle in May 2009, followed by Sace investing US$10mn into ATI’s capital last July.

Speaking to GTR, Creighton remarks: “Both Sace and ATI are in the business of political risk and export trade credit insurance and therefore Sace’s investment will enable the two oranisations to share experiences, share information regarding risks and to explore risk-sharing opportunities.

“Sace’s involvement on the board of ATI will enable Sace to provide technical expertise to ATI while also providing strategic input as to how ATI can further expand their operations in their member countries.”

Creighton adds: “The partnership with ATI adds further weight to Sace’s renewed interest in the Sub-Saharan region. Currently, Sace and ATI are jointly working on seven transactions for an overall value of €50mn.”

An official release issued by Sace claims that: “through this partnership, Sace and ATI will cooperate in promoting sustainable growth in Africa, creating a valid platform for the sharing of risks. Cooperation with ATI will also make it possible to upgrade support for Italian investors and exporters in Africa where Sace is already strongly committed through the Africa Programme and through direct operations of the Johannesburg office headed by Creighton.”

The ATI was founded in 2001 with the support of the World Bank and is designed to provide a competitve range of credit and political risk protection products for investments and trade in Africa.