Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has said that it would provide financing for transactions valued at about $100 million in the Comoros.
Afreximbank President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said on Thursday in the country’s capital city of Moroni.
Comoros is a tiny East African country with a population of about 813,000.
The Global Head of Communications and Events; at the Afreximbank, Mr Obi Emekekwue on Thursday, stated that Prof Oramah disclosed this when he led an Afreximbank delegation on a visit to President Azali Assoumani of Comoros.
He said that that the Bank also saw opportunities, in the longer term, to provide up to $300 million in additional financing to the country.
Prod Oramah told President Assoumani that there were ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Finance of Comoros and with the Central Bank, which would make it possible for Afreximbank to provide up to $20 million to support trade and related infrastructure, including fuel and other strategic imports.
“We are also discussing with a local group that is trying to set up an airline in order to provide it with the financing it needs to enable it acquire aircraft to operate local routes,” he added.
Oramah said that Afreximbank’s intention was to ensure that all its member countries saw and enjoyed the benefits of their membership.
He noted that the Bank had ensured that it was always available to provide support whenever countries encountered problems in financing trade.
Responding, President Assoumani welcomed the opportunity offered by Afreximbank’s decision to support the economy of Comoros and said that the government would work with the Bank to ensure successful implementation of any transactions.
He added that Comoros required support in exploiting some of its resources and in adding value to its products, particularly in the areas of agriculture, fisheries and inter-island transportation.
The Afreximbank delegation subsequently held a meeting with Said Ali Said Chayhane, the Minister of Finance; Dr. Younousa Imani, Governor of the Central Bank of Comoros, and Fouday Goulame, Commissioner General, National Planning, who were joined by their technical teams, to discuss the technicalities around Afreximbank’s planned support to Comoros.
The delegation also paid courtesy calls on Souef Mohamad el Amine, the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and on Hamadi Idaroussi, Secretary-General in the Presidency, to brief them on the Bank’s activities and the plans by the Bank to support Comoros.
Accompanying President Oramah on the delegation were Rene Awambeng, Global Head of Client Relations; Obi Emekekwue, Global Head of Communications and Events;
and Ekene Uzor, Special Assistant to the President. They were joined by Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing, Group Chairman of SBM Group of Mauritius, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank.
The Daily Times recalls that Comoros joined Afreximbank as its 46th participating state on 12 September 2017 when Mr. Chayhane, the Minister of Finance and Budget, signed the instrument of accession to the Agreement Establishing the Bank.