Afreximbank plans $8 billion fund to offset trade-pact losses

(Bloomberg, London, 15 July 2021) African nations plan to raise about $8 billion for a fund to help offset revenue losses for countries that lower cross-border tariffs, as part of a continent-wide free-trade agreement. The African Export-Import Bank, or Afreximbank, has already provided $1 billion for the fund after the African Union set it up to help cushion sudden revenue losses and encourage participation. The free-trade area went into effect on Jan. 1. The $1 billion made available by Afreximbank will be used to leverage funding from other multilateral development-finance institutions, export credit agencies, commercial banks and donors. Afreximbank, in collaboration with the African Union, will hold intra-Africa trade fair in South Africa in November to provide access to trade and market information to companies and countries. In addition, it’s planning “face-to-face training workshops’’ in 13 countries from October to build the capacity required to meet trade targets, the lender said.