With the prevalent dependency of African economies on external supply of fertilizers and grains and up to 30% of cereals imported from Russia, ensuring that critical trade flows continue uninhibited, remains the priority of Afreximbank (www.Afreximbank.com) and its African member states. The lingering global food security challenges and the critical role trade with Russia plays in guaranteeing Africa’s food security was at the core of discussions for Afreximbank at the second Russia African Economic and Humanitarian forum which held at St. Petersburg from the 27th to the 29th of July, 2023.
Addressing the summit, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, said in his remarks that “Afreximbank is working with the African Union Commission, the United Nations System and Russian partners to use the Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX) e-commerce platform to facilitate seamless flow of goods and payments in any currencies chosen by sellers and buyers in a transparent manner. The platform pools Africa’s demand for grains and fertilizers, and the Bank has placed an aggregate credit limit of US$3 billion to support these transactions.”
“Beyond the food security priorities and in line with the Bank’s mandate, Afreximbank and the Russian Export Centre are collaborating to promote trade and investments in other critical sectors, with focus placed on activities that will help integrate the African economy and advance the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA),” continued the President.
Afreximbank offers a portfolio of solutions to support investments in agriculture, industrial parks and critical infrastructure, in partnership with the Russian Export Centre, and supports African investors seeking to explore opportunities in Russia.
Trade flows between Africa and Russia reached almost US$20 billion in the four years to 2021, as against about US$10 billion in 2015, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other significant global crises, bringing it closer to the target of US$40 billion by 2026. It is expected that the trade flows could double over the next four years.
The first Russia-Africa Economic Forum held in Sochi in 2019 had committed to systematically pursue stronger trade and investment ties between Russia and Africa and to reset socio-economic relations, in addition to moving the two-way trade to US$40 billion by 2026.
The two-day Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Summit was attended by top political and business leaders from Russia and Africa.