Russia-Africa Summit: African presidents secure Ksh.427.4 billion for food security

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has laid plan to support African economies to boost trade and investment.

The plan includes a Ksh.427.4 billion (US$.3 billion) facility which will go a long at curbing over-dependence on external supply of goods and services.

In a statement Sunday, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Afreximbank said the Bank is working with the African Union Commission, the United Nations System and Russian partners to use the Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX) e-commerce platform in guaranteeing Africa’s food security.

“With the prevalent dependency of African economies on external supply of fertilizers and grains and up to 30 percent of cereals imported from Russia, ensuring that critical trade flows continue uninhibited, remains the priority of Afreximbank and its African member states,” said Oramah.

He was speaking during the second Russia African Economic and Humanitarian forum which was held at St. Petersburg from July 27 to 29, 2023.

The Pan-African multilateral lender said the platform pools Africa’s demand for grains and fertilizers, and the Bank has placed an aggregate credit limit of $3 billion to support these transactions.

This will facilitate a seamless flow of goods and payments in any currencies chosen by sellers and buyers in a transparent manner to combat food hunger in Africa. 

Afreximbank and the Russian Export Centre are also collaborating to promote trade and investments in other critical sectors, with focus placed on activities that will help integrate the African economy and advance the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

According to the bank, trade flows between Africa and Russia reached almost Ksh.2.8 trillion (US$20 billion) in the four years to 2021, against about Ksh.1.4 trillion (US$10 billion) in 2015, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other significant global crises.

This brings it closer to the target of Ksh.5.7 trillion (US$40 billion) by 2026. It is expected that the trade flows could double over the next four years.  

The first Russia-Africa Economic Forum held in Sochi in 2019 had committed to systematically pursue stronger trade and investment ties between Russia and Africa and to reset socio-economic relations, in addition to moving the two-way trade to US$40 billion by 2026.

The two-day Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Summit was attended by Heads of States and business leaders from Russia and Africa.

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Collins Ogutu

Nairobi based Digital Journalist, Corporate Communication Expert and Digital Marketer with a wealth of experience in multimedia. Accredited member of the Media Council of Kenya.

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