The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is in the process of identifying projects in the key sectors of Cameroon to assist the country to achieve a rapid transformation of the economy through trade, Rene Awambeng, Global Head of Client Relations of the Bank, has said.
Mr. Awambeng, who was speaking yesterday during a roadshow organised in Douala, Cameroon, to present the Bank’s products, programmes and facilities to the business community, told the audience that Afreximbank was committed to assisting the country to execute priority trade enabling infrastructure.
It would also support the country to expand its manufacturing capacity through the development of logistics, industrial parks and processing plants for key commodities, in addition to providing trade finance for the import of capital goods to support industrialization, he said.
Other areas of support include facilitation of export of processed/manufactured goods and support to Cameroonian businesses to access regional and continental markets, especially in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Over the years, Afreximbank had financed the construction, expansion and refurbishment of trade enabling infrastructure across the continent, stated Mr. Awambeng. It was also supporting African countries to diversify their economies away from dependence on mono-export, by partnering with governments and international manufactures/processors to promote value addition, implementing financing and non-financing programmes to prepare businesses to take advantage of the AfCFTA, and providing support to local banks meet trade finance obligations.
Celestin Tawamba, President of Le Groupement Inter patronal du Cameroun (GICAM), the leading network of business leaders in Cameroon, said that the major challenges confronting business promoters in the Central Africa region included difficulty in mobilising financing for projects and lack of access to trade information.
The roadshow was, therefore, an opportunity for the members of the private sector to exchange ideas with a key financial institution in order to obtain information about available solutions that could assist in addressing the specific difficulties of businesses in the region, he said.
In a welcome address, Dr. Fritz Ntone Ntone, the chief representative of the Government Delegate to the Douala City Council, said that, with the entry into force of the AfCFTA, the programmes and facilities from Afreximbank presented major opportunities for businesses in Cameroon and the Central Africa region to engage in intra-African trade.
The roadshow featured presentations on the various products, programmes and facilities offered by Afreximbank to promote and support trade across Africa.
More than 250 business leaders from all the key sectors of the Cameroonian economy participated in the roadshow which was hosted in the offices of GICAM.