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Coronation Merchant Bank points way for trade finance growth in Africa

Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions has pointed out ways for the growth of trade finance in Africa.

One of such ways according to Banjo Adegbohungbe, managing director/chief executive officer is to look inwards and strive to leverage the resources and synergies in growing trade finance not just for the benefit of Africa but for the whole world.

“Perhaps now more than ever, the expansion of Intra-African trade is a critical enabler for the Nigerian economy. As Africa continues on its journey to economic recovery, it must look inwards and strive to leverage the resources and synergies in growing trade finance not just for the benefit of Africa but for the whole world,” he said on Monday at the bank’s 2nd edition of its Interactive Session Series themed ‘AfCFTA – The Road Ahead’.

The event which was held virtually featured expert speakers such as Francis Anatogu, Executive Secretary, National Action Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Area; Komi Tsowou, Economic Affairs Officer, African Trade Policy Center, Regional Integration and Trade Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Chinwe Egwim, Chief Economist, Coronation Merchant Bank.

Read also: Afreximbank, AfCFTA roll-out Pan-African payment settlement system

Other speakers and panelists at the session included Demola Adekoya, Head, Corporate Banking, Coronation Merchant Bank, and Kesiena Esievo, Head, Global Trade, Coronation Merchant Bank.

Speaking on leveraging the opportunities in AfCFTA and plotting a course for Africa’s economic recovery, Francis Anatogu said, “the strategic objective of Nigeria’s participation in the AfCFTA was to capture 10 percent of Africa’s imports, as well as double the country’s export revenues by 2025. The AfCFTA provides a platform to improve resilience in our economy and make every state economically viable”.

Speaking on building a trading system that is driven by Africans and delivered to the world, Komi Tsowo noted that, “Almost everything is being exported mainly from the rest of the world which means there is a huge gap that products made in Africa can supply. One thing COVID-19 has shown us is that during the crisis, supply disruption makes countries that are heavily dependent on remote markets very vulnerable.

“The AfCFTA is creating an African market for African products which will contribute to the reduction of this export gap and our over-reliance on exports of world markets. By 2045, intra-trade can increase as much as 40 percent with the AfCFTA as a catalyst compared to 20 percent if the AfCFTA was not in place.”

In his welcome remarks, Adegbohungbe, said, “Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the international trade landscape has undergone rapid changes. From supply chain disruptions to higher logistics costs to the adoption of digital platforms, the landscape has continued to evolve. More than ever before, organisations have been faced with multiple challenges while trying to meet their strategic objectives

Demola Adekoya, group head, corporate banking, stated that: “In this new reality that has enveloped the whole world, we have a duty to enlighten our clients on how they can navigate these uncertain times.
The Coronation Interactive Session is an ongoing event that provides a platform to create significant value for our customers around major issues that impact their business objectives. We have chosen to focus this webinar around the potentials and opportunities within the AfCFTA so as to explore the opportunities and provide winning insights for corporates on how to strategically position themselves to take advantage of the trade agreement.”

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