In recent times, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has continued to play a vital role in the promotion of trade and economic development in Sudan, which is one of the founding shareholders and member states of the Bank.
President al-Bashir, who was speaking in Addis Ababa when he received a delegation of the Bank led by Bank President Dr. Benedict Oramah commended the Bank for all its efforts. He also added on the sidelines of the African Union Summit, that now that conditions have begun to normalize, there was a huge scope for Afreximbank to increase its support and interventions in Sudan.
He identified strategic projects which the Bank could support to include those in the energy sector, where support was required to procure equipment for the supply of adequate electricity to the Darfur region. He also requested the Bank’s support in the implementation of some renewable energy projects; agricultural production and processing of key commodities; and expansion of the Bank’s existing country programme.
In response to this, President Oramah said that Afreximbank’s support to Sudan was consistent with the Bank’s mandate as exemplified by similar support extended to other Member States during crisis periods.
According to Dr. Oramah, a new country programme, with strategic enhancements, was being contemplated and would focus on revitalizing industrial activities in Sudan.
The new programme would aim to boost the production and domestic processing of strategic agricultural products, including gum Arabic, cotton, etc.; rebuild and expand trade supporting infrastructure, particularly energy production; and design market promotion programmes to enhance Sudan’s participation in international markets, he said.
He also added that the Bank could be a channel for attracting investments into Sudan as some potential investors were already making requests to Afreximbank to support their entry into Sudan.
In December last year, Afreximbank and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private sector (ICD) signed a line of financing agreements for a $100-million facility. This became Afreximbank’s first ever line of financing agreements with ICD.