THE African Trade Insurance (ATI) Agency supported trade and investment worth $4 billion in Africa in 2016 in which Zimbabwe and Ethiopia snatched $400 million of the package.
Zimbabwe became a fully fledged ATI member after admission into the Pan-African insurer last year in September.
“ATI insured $4 billion worth of trade and investments into its African member countries while backing strategic projects such as the $159 million loan from the African Development Bank to support Ethiopian Airline’s fleet expansion. ATI also underwrote the first deal in a non-member country in Angola in Q-1 2017, reÓecting the company’s new pan-African mandate,” the agency reported.
“In 2016, ATI facilitated financing of trade and investments in Kenya valued at close to $800 million, which represents around 1.2 percent of Kenya’s GDP. Similarly, in ATI’s two newest member countries, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, the company supported $400 million worth to trade and investment to these economies.”
Last week the ATI held its 17th annual general meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, where participants urged governments to increase focus on growing intra-African trade and diversify their economies away from commodity reliance in order to reduce vulnerability to external shocks.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa attended the meeting in which the sustained commodity price decline on the international market and the general geo-political uncertainties took centre stage.
With sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP growth rates expected to hit a record low of 1.5 percent depressed commodity rates are seen to be one of the major drivers with export producers
accounting for two-thirds of the region’s growth, said ATI.
ATI has become a vital partner in supporting Africa’s journey toward diversification, self-reliance and more sustainable growth.
During the meeting ATI announced its 2016 results in which it posted record results for the sixth consecutive year. The agency has moved from being loss making as recently as 2011 to posting a positive net result representing a 36 percent increase over 2015. Among other factors, ATI attributes this success to stronger partnerships with African governments, who increasingly see the value of ATI to their growth and development objectives.
ATI is a multilateral investment insurer that was formed by Comesa member countries with the support of the World Bank in 2001. Since then, ATI has expanded to include countries in the Ecowas region. The company provides a range of products that mitigate risks impeding the flow of investments and trade to and within Africa. As of 2016, ATI has cumulatively supported $25 billion worth of trade and investments into its member countries since inception. – The Chronicle