Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in Southern Africa has formally joined African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
Mr Obi Emekekwue, the Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management in Afreximbank, said the country made it the 51st African country to become a participating or shareholder state of the continental trade finance institution.
He said that the bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, signed on behalf of the bank while Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini of Eswatini signed for his country.
Oramah was quoted as expressing the bank’s appreciation for the “milestone occasion”, which he described as the result of years of ongoing and persistent engagement between the bank and Eswatini.
Oramah said the bank was already working with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Trade of Eswatini to identify priority sectors and transactions which it could support.
He said the bank would support in the acquisition of wagons for Eswatini Railway, equipment import facility for Swazi Mobile and support for the planned export processing zone, among others.
According to him, the bank will shortly be sending a business development mission to Mbabane (the capital) to urgently complete the transactions that had been identified.
Mr Promise Msibi, the Permanent Representative of Eswatini to the African Union and the country’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, who represented Dlamini at the ceremony, expressed regret that Eswatini was only just joining the bank.
Dlamini commended Afreximbank for its effort to introduce a Pan-African Payment and Settlement Platform.
He said that platform would greatly improve the quality of life of Africans, especially in the context of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
He said that Eswatini was positioning itself to host the secretariat of the AfCFTA and that the payment platform would facilitate the smooth takeoff of the secretariat.
He urged Afreximbank to move toward a quick implementation of the programme that had been identified in Eswatini.
Afreximbank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade.
The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.
The bank is headquartered in Cairo.