Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé yesterday in Lomé announced Togo’s accession to the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Establishment Agreement, making the country the 40th African state to officially join the continental trade finance institution as a participating state.
President Gnassingbé, who made the announcement during a call on him by Afreximbank President Dr. Benedict Oramah, told the Afreximbank President that the country’s decision to join Afreximbank was guided by the fact that the Bank’s strategy, especially its Intra-African trade vision, was consistent with Togo’s vision and economic development needs.
He said that Togo’s intention was to grow its local private sector, increase energy production capabilities and develop much-needed transport and logistics infrastructure to be linked to the Lomé port and airport to serve regional trade needs.
Responding, Dr. Oramah said that by becoming a member, Togo immediately became eligible to benefit from Afreximbank’s wide range of trade finance services and programmes which would allow the country to fast-track the development of its trade-facilitating infrastructure projects.
He urged Togo to move quickly to conclude the ratification of the Agreement as required under the terms of the 1993 Abidjan Agreement on the Establishment of the Bank.
“Given its strategic location in the region, Togo has the potential to become a leader in the services industry and to become a regional logistics hub for the trade of goods and services across Africa. Togo is therefore a very important country in the Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Strategy,” he said.
According to Dr. Oramah, with the signing of the instrument of accession, Afreximbank will go ahead and identify immediate opportunities on which to work with Togolese entities, including the private sector, in order to deploy its trade finance programmes, particularly in the development of the services industry, the processing of agricultural commodities and the logistics sector.
A part of the visit, Dr. Oramah also held meetings with several ministers and heads of government agencies to start discussions on collaboration opportunities and on projects that could be supported by the Bank.
Togo accession to Afreximbank follows a visit by President Gnassingbé to the Afreximbank Headquarters in Cairo on 11 April.
Current Afreximbank participating states include Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape-Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, and Lesotho. Others are Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic Of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra-Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe