The African Export-Import Bank also known Afreximbank, is keen to work with both the public and private sectors in Namibia in developing a robust pipeline of projects.
This it said is premised on the economic importance of Namibia on the African and its dynamic international trade sector.
Global head and director-client relations, Rene Awambeng shared these remarks yesterday in Windhoek at the Afreximbank Business Forum in Namibia. Afreximbank is a Pan African multilateral trade finance institution created in 1993, under the auspices of the African Development Bank. The bank’s core mandate is to facilitate, finance and promote intra- and extra-African trade and be a centre of excellence in African trade matters with a view to enhance integration of Africa into the global economy.
According to Awambeng, currently, a pipeline of US$85 million for transactions is under consideration by Afreximbank in Namibia, distributed across various sectors including mining, energy and health among others. “It is principally for the above reason that we are here to re-introduce Afreximbank and familiarise the business sector in Namibia to the products and services offered by the bank and to engage actively with the business community,” he said.
Awambeng noted the Russia-Ukraine conflict did not spare Namibia from the impact on imports of fertilisers and food due to the surge in commodity prices. The conflict has affected the importation of wheat and fertilisers, as Namibia imports about 56% of its wheat and 5% of fertilisers from Russia.
“We are happy to announce our commitment to working with the Namibian commercial and development or investment banks to make financing accessible to the public and private sectors and SMEs to finance trade and project deals in Namibia,” he added.
Delivering the keynote address, trade ministry executive director Sikongo Haihambo said Namibia is committed to the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), this is demonstrated by the fact that Namibia has already commenced with the awareness creation and will soon commence with the training of potential exporters, implementers including customs officials as part of the implementation process of the agreement. For Namibia to be able to take full advantage of the AFCTA, Haihambo said there is a need to accelerate Namibia industrialisation agenda and diversify the export basket. According to him, these calls for increase productivity, innovation and financial support and Afreximbank is one of the most reliable partners in terms of financial support.
At the same occasion, mayor of Windhoek Sade Gawanas was honoured the bank is in town to engage and exchange knowledge, experiences and establishing new paradigms for unlocking business, investment and trade opportunities within Africa.
“We are part of the global economy and having survived the harsh realities of Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on our economies, we must strive to ensure that we remain resilient and responsive to our changing and the way we conduct business,” she pointed out.
Gawanas noted there is a need to innovate, strengthen existing value chains and adapt to technological advancements. The mayor further encouraged businesses to fully utilise the bank’s presence in the country for a broader understanding of the products and programmes it offers.