The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) inaugurated its first regional headquarters in Egypt on Sunday in the presence of a number of African banking officials.
Speaking at the inauguration, Bank of Zambia Governor Danny Kalyalya said Afreximbank faces a number of challenges, however efforts are being exerted to increase the bank’s finances and equip its new headquarters with modern technical equipment.
The bank’s portfolio amounted to $144m in its opening year in 1994, and it recently doubled, according to Kalyalya.
“The bank has three regional offices around the continent, Egypt’s headquarters is one of the main offices for supporting inter-trade relations with Egypt,” said Kalyalya. “We request more assistance from the Egyptian government in the next period.”
On his part, President and Chairman of the Board Opening, Jean-Louis Ekra, said a new Afreximbank regional office in Egypt reflects the success of the bank and the importance of the Egyptian role in supporting trade within Africa.
Ekra said that the bank appreciates Egypt’s key support in the development of African economic integration, adding that the bank acquired six construction bids with Egyptian, Zambian and Nigerian companies for designing and constructing the bank’s offices in Egypt in 2014.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Assistant for African Affairs Ambassador Mohamed Edrees said that Egypt insists on supporting the bank and economic integration with African countries.
Edrees added that Egypt is the main contributor in the bank by $500m through six main banks such as the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, and the Export Development Bank of Egypt among others.
Former and honorary president of the African Development Bank, Babacar Ndiaye, said that former president Hosni Mubarak was the only African president who encouraged the establishment of an African financial institution to support internal trade between the continent’s countries.
Ndiaye added the bank now is ranked at AAA, despite the constraints that faced the bank since its launching since 20 years ago.