All is now set for the take-off of an Abidjan Branch Office of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to serve Francophone West Africa, with the signing of the two foundation agreements for the Branch by the Bank and the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, the bank said in a statement.
At a ceremony Monday in Cote d’Ivoire’s commercial capital, presided over by Ivorian Premier Daniel Kablan Duncan, Afreximbank President Jean-Louis Ekra, on behalf of the Bank, and Moussa Dosso, Minister of State for Employment, Social Affairs and Vocational Training of Cote d’Ivoire, on behalf of the Government, signed the Branch Agreement, which details the privileges to be accorded to the Bank and its staff in Abidjan.
Mr. Ekra and three other Ivorian ministers then signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Bank and the Government under which the Government committed to providing certain services and facilities to the Bank to enable it to take off and to function effectively.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Mr. Duncan said the establishment of the Afreximbank Branch Office in Abidjan was a vote of confidence in Cote d’Ivoire, acknowledging the consolidation of peace in the country and its success in strengthening of economic recovery and development.
He expressed confidence that the new Branch Office would make a positive impact by helping to raise the contribution of intra-African trade to Africa’s economies.
Earlier, President Ekra had said the decision to site the Branch Office in Abidjan was taken after a very rigorous study that took into account such factors as political stability and security; economic and financial stability; operational factors; and physical and social infrastructure.
“The Abidjan Branch Office will perform marketing, business development, relationship management, loan structuring, loan monitoring and agency functions for Afreximbank in the Francophone West Africa area,” Mr. Ekra said.
The Board of Directors of Afreximbank had, during the Annual General Meeting of Shareholder in Libreville in June 2014, approved the establishment a new Branch to serve Francophone West Africa and another to serve East Africa.