By Chris Agabi
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Morocco, represented by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, to develop a US$1billion Morocco-Africa Trade and Investment Promotion programme.
A statement from Afreximbank said according to the terms of the MoU, “the programme shall aim to facilitate and guide future cooperation in areas of common interest between Afreximbank, the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Morocco, other government departments, and Moroccan economic operators. Areas of collaboration under the programme will include financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade through the implementation of credit, risk bearing and trade information and advisory services.”
“It will also include support for engagements, missions, exchange of information and capacity building” it said.
Speaking at the MOU signing ceremony, Minister of Economy and Finance Madame Nadia Fettah said that “this agreement marks an important step towards consolidating the relationship between the Kingdom of Morocco and Afreximbank. It also affirms the continued commitment of the Government to increasing trade promotion and cooperation, and the development of Africa.”
In addition, under project finance, the MoU provides for the Ministry of Economy and Finance to facilitate access to information on potential pipeline of investment projects in Morocco, or from Moroccan entities to African countries, which would be suitable for financing from Afreximbank. Afreximbank, on its part, would cooperate with the Ministry and relevant Moroccan entities and economic operators to develop and deploy appropriate project structuring and financing solutions.
Commenting on the MOU, President and Chairman of the board of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah said “we are delighted to be signing this MOU as it sets the stage for deepening the collaboration and relationship between Afreximbank and the Kingdom of Morocco. Our mandate to transform trade and support economies in Africa is firm and today’s agreement is another crucial step in achieving this objective.”
The programme, under which Afreximbank aims to support Morocco over three years for the benefit of the country’s economic operators, is to be implemented using loans and guarantee facilities as well as investment banking and advisory services. According to the MoU, the programme is anchored on Morocco’s firm engagement to play a key role in promoting intra-African cooperation and on the efforts of the Ministry of Economy and Finance to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with African/regional financial institutions to promote financial and economic cooperation between Moroccan economic operators and their African counterparts.