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Afreximbank okays $1b for African trade

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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has instituted a $1billion Agreement for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Adjustment Facility to enable countries adjust in an orderly manner to sudden tariff revenue losses as a result of the implementation of the AfCFTA.

Afreximbank President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, who addressed the 12th Extraordinary Summit of African Union (AU) Heads of State, announced a series of initiatives to support the implementation of AfCFTA, yesterday in Niamey, Niger.

“This facility will help countries to accelerate the ratification of the AfCFTA,” he said, telling the heads of state that, by starting the operational phase of the AfCFTA, “you have started a movement.”“You must not look back. This movement is now unstoppable.”

He added that, as part of its support for the implementation of the AfCFTA, the Bank had provided support to aid the work being done by the African Regional Standards Organisation and the AU in implementing the agreement. Oramah also said the Summit of the launch the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), the first continent-wide payment digital system focused on facilitating payments for goods and services in intra-African trade in African currencies.

“Today we will launch the Africa-wide digital payment infrastructure – the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) – that we developed in collaboration with the African Union,” he said. “It is a platform that will domesticate, intra-regional payments, save the continent more than $5 billion in payment transaction costs per annum, formalise a significant proportion of the estimated $50 billion of informal intra-African trade, and above all, contribute in boosting intra-African trade.”

“Making cross-border payments easier, cheaper and safer is an obvious critical step in creating an Africa we want,” he concluded.

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