The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it has set up a trade finance facilitation programme to mitigate the stringent compliance and regulatory requirements imposed by international banks on African banks for trade confirmation lines.

A statement on Tuesday by the bank’s Director and Global Head, Communications and Events Management Department, Mr Obi Emekekwue, quoted Amr Kamel, Afreximbank’s Executive Vice-President for Business Development and Corporate Banking as giving this hint while unveiling the programme in Cairo.

Kamel said that the new trade facilitation programme packaged in consultation with executives from 24 banks and a representation from the Korean Exim Bank would save and transform African trade.

According to him, the programme had been structured to enhance the confidence of counter-parties in the settlement of international trade transactions for intra-and extra Africa trade and to improve correspondent banking relationships.

The banker explained further that the programme became necessary because the stringent conditions requirements had resulted in the international banks reducing or withdrawing trade lines to African banks.

According to him, the strict conditions had aided in confirming banks that had risk capital and capacity constraints to support trade finance transactions.

“The programme will enhance confidence among African banks and boost Egypt-Africa trade and intra-African trade, thereby decreasing the trade finance gap in the continent due to stringent regulations and high compliance costs,” Kamel said.

He listed the participating banks to include, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Ahli United Bank (Egypt), Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Alex Bank, Arab Bank, Arab International Bank, Arab Investment Bank, Attijariwafa bank, Banque du Caire, Banque Misr;Blom Bank; Commercial International Bank and Credit Agricole Egypt.

Others are, Egyptian Gulf Bank; Emirates NBD, Export Development Bank of Egypt; First Abu Dhabi Bank; Mashreq; National Bank of Egypt,QNB Al Ahli, Societe Arabe Internationale de Banque, Suez Canal Bank, The United Bank and Union National Bank.

Established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors, Afreximbank is a pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade.