Afreximbank’s 2019 Trade Finance Seminar and Workshop opened today in Durban, South Africa with Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development and Corporate Banking at the Bank African Import-Export (Afreximbank), stating that the bank wanted to ensure that African banks and bankers were well equipped to deal with the risks associated with trade finance in a difficult politico-economic environment and changing trade counterparts.
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Mr. Kamel said that the seminar and workshops, organized by Afreximbank in collaboration with the South African province of Kwazulu-Natal, were part of the Bank’s strategy to develop and build capacity for trade finance in Africa.
The training had been structured to ensure that participants acquired the ability to structure bankable trade finance agreements of varying levels of complexity, he said.
âAs banks, we all play a vital role in promoting trade,â Kamel said. “We need to do this by managing risks for traders as well as facilitating payments while closing the cash flow gaps that characterize international trade.”
He said 2019 would mark a turning point in Africa’s history, being the year the continent came together to affirm its commitment to solving its economic and social problems through the launch of the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
“This should provide traders across Africa with preferential trade agreements to enable them to improve the level of intra-African trade and enhance the economic growth of our countries,” he said.
Also speaking, Sihle Zikalala, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province, said the province aims to position itself as the gateway to South Africa and the entire Southern Africa region.
It aspired to act more and more as a transmission belt between global and regional markets and production facilities, he explained, adding that the government was striving to develop a strong economy capable of creating sustainable jobs. , fight poverty and become more competitive on a global scale.
Earlier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, member of the Kwazulu-Natal Executive Council responsible for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, welcomed the seminar participants to Durban.
Belinda Scott, Deputy Mayor of Ethikwini, also addressed the opening ceremony.