Trinidad and Tobago yet to formalise Afreximbank membership

Afreximbank's Kanayo Awani. -
Afreximbank's Kanayo Awani. -

NASSAU: The concept of Global Africa – a unification of the African and Caribbean diaspora – has been the driving force for formalising and strengthening AfriCaribbean relations.

In the last few years, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has welcomed Caricom countries to ratify the bank's partnership agreement.

However, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Haiti and Montserrat are yet to formalise their Afreximbank membership.

Afreximbank executive vice president, Intra-African Trade Bank, Kanayo Awani, said discussions with Trinidad and Tobago are still a "work-in-progress."

"Our bank's president Prof Benedict Oramah was in Trinidad and Tobago within the last two months, again to drive the agenda of Trinidad and Tobago joining Afreximbank as a participating member state.

"Once that gets done we will be able to do transactions with the country."

She was speaking to Newsday on the sidelines of the 31st Afreximbank annual meeting and the third AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment forum, taking place in Nassau, Bahamas, on June 14.

At present, 11 Caricom countries have formalised their relations with Afreximbank, allowing the bank to set up operations in their respective countries.

Awani said the ratification of the partnership agreement gives the bank access to certain privileges and immunities, allowing them to make interventions in those countries.

However, Awani said even before formal discussions began, Afreximbank, under its Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) programme, supported several local entrepreneurs from the creative industry.

"We have been promoting and supporting creatives in the Caribbean and Africa for a number of years. We have had several fashion designers from Trinidad and Tobago be part of our interventions, where we exposed them to a number of brands at global fashion shows, allowing them to showcase their designs and walk their own runways."

This allows them brand development and global visibility, Awani said.

In 2022, Afreximbank's board of directors approved a US$1.5 billion funding to enable ratified Caricom member states access to the bank's various financial instruments.

This includes access to the bank’s financing instruments through financing facilities that support various identified economic sectors including tourism, healthcare, renewable energy, shipping, mining, agriculture and agribusiness, air links and aquaculture.

"Afreximbank is working to introduce Caricom investors and financial institutions to opportunities in all sectors across Africa while exposing African investors to investment opportunities in key sectors identified in Caricom countries," the bank said.


"Trinidad and Tobago yet to formalise Afreximbank membership"

More in this section