Afreximbank and the Development Bank of Belarus are putting together a 880 million dollars Belarus-Africa Trade and Investment Finance Facility (BATIFF).
Dr Benedict Oramah, the President of Afreximbank, disclosed this in Minsk on Tuesday at the inauguration of the maiden edition of Belarus-Africa Forum.
He said that the facility would provide financing and risk cover for African and Belarusian business entities.
He said that aside from this, Afreximbank was putting in place other risk bearing facilities that could protect any Belarusian business in Africa, stressing that “Afreximbank sees business in Belarus and also means business”.
“”We extend our hands of business collaboration to Belarusian business people. We invite them to come to Africa to come and assemble heavy equipment plants,” he said.
Oramah said that Africa needed partners that could accompany it on the path of sustainable development, particularly partners that could share their experiences on how to rise from poverty and deprivation to wealth and affluence.
He said that with all its challenges, Africa needed partners, but not partners that would be interested in selling consumption goods to it.
The Afreximbank boss said that Africa needed investment in infrastructure to the tune of 93 billion dollars annually in the next 10 years to make a dent in its huge infrastructure gap.
“Africa needs equipment to build roads, bridges, hospitals, railways, ports, power stations and etcetera.”
“Africa faces deficits in production of major food crops from grains, meat and tubers to fruits and vegetables.”
“Yet, it boasts of over 60 per cent of the world’s usable arable land. Some of you may not be aware that Africa is a very huge continent, about three times the size of the USA and three times the size of Europe,” he said.
Oramah pledged that Afreximbank was determined to move Africa to the center stage of global trade.
He said that total intra African trade reached one trillion dollars in 2017, stressing that Africa was now in a hurry to develop.
“Today, Africa has become a market. The size of the African economy at 2.5 trillion dollars ranks as the number 10 in the world,” he said.