The African Export-Import Bank is ready to invest up to US$500 Million in support of the new government’s priority development programmes in key areas of agriculture, tourism and infrastructure.
This was confirmed on Monday by the Bank’s President Dr. Benedict Oramah during an interview with journalists at the Senegambia Beach Hotel shortly after a meeting with the Gambia Tourism Board.
Dr. Benedict Oramah is currently in the Gambia under the invitation of President Adama Barrow to discuss how the bank could support the new government’s priority development programmes.
The African Export–Import Bank, also referred to as Afreximbank established in 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African financial institutions and private investors, is an international financial institution promoting intra- and extra-African trade. It is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, with primary objective of promoting and financing trade within the African continent and trade between Africa and other continents.
Earlier on Monday, Dr Oramah met President Barrow followed by another meeting with officials of the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of The Gambia and The Gambia Tourism Board.
“We are looking at making investments here for up to US$500M and that will be in key areas of tourism, agriculture and infrastructure. It will be an integrated transport logistics that will link Ports expansion to making the river Gambia navigable and to be used to carry goods to Senegal and Mali” he said.
According to him, they are also looking at agriculture especially export agriculture and agro processing with emphasis on light manufactures so that as they promote export manufacture, they will also promote employment.
“There are aspects of support that requires the financial sector to make sure that the banks have access to trade services because as you may be aware, so many international banks are withdrawing from supporting a number of African countries because of the rising compliance cost and we are moving to breach the gap” he said.
Dr Oramah confirmed that President Barrow is in a hurry for the investment to start. He said the Bank will be sending a technical team as soon as he returns to Cairo, so that they begin to work on the implementation of the identified areas.
“I expect that before long, these programmes will start given the positive political will of the government” he said.
He used the opportunity to congratulate President Barrow and the people of the Gambia for a successful political transition despite the challenges.