The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is to join the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) as a member and shareholder, a high-powered DRC government delegation that recently visited the Bank’s headquarters in Cairo has indicated.
According to a dispatch from the bank, obtained by PANA here Saturday, the delegation, led by Finance Minister Patrice Kitebi, informed Afreximbank officials that it was in the Egyptian capital to gain better understanding of the role and activities of the Bank for a final report to enable the Government conclude the signing and ratification process to join the Bank.
Mr. Kitebi said all the necessary approvals had been concluded and that the DRC expected to become a member of the Bank within a matter of weeks, with the signing and ratification of the instrument of accession to the Agreement Establishing the Bank.
Earlier, Afreximbank President Jean-Louis Ekra told the Minister that the Bank shared the desire of President Joseph Kabila of the DRC to achieve increased value addition to goods being exported to from the country, saying the Bank already had facilities that could help to address that challenge as well as facilities to assist in other areas, once the membership was activated.
According to Mr. Ekra, Afreximbank had been forced to turn down applications worth several hundred million dollars from companies doing business in the DRC because the country was not a member of the Bank.
He said once DRC joined the Bank, Congolese businesses would automatically become eligible for all the facilities available through the Bank.
Under the terms of the 1993 Abidjan Agreement on the establishment of the Bank, countries that did not sign the Agreement before it entered into force are required to issue an instrument of acceptance and accession and then to ratify the Establishment Agreement in order to fully activate their membership.
Afreximbank member states include Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d ‘ Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Liberia and Seychelles.