Cape Verde to begin flights to Lagos, Accra to boost African trade

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Cape Verde, a small island archipelago nation off Africa’s Northwest coast, says it will open flights to Lagos and Accra to address challenge of inadequate transportation lines among African countries.

A statement on Tuesday in Lagos by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) quoted Prime Minister Jose Correia e Silva of Cape Verde as making the pledge at Afreximbank trade seminar in Cape Verde.

The Prime Minister spoke at the opening of the Advanced Structured Trade Finance Seminar and Workshops organised by Afreximbank in Cape Verde.

According to Silva, Cape Verde intends to be an international market and we have developed a specific agenda to achieve that objective through transportation.

He said that the country would thereafter open direct flights to Abidjan, Dakar and many other African cities in order to increase intra-African trade.

He said that the aim was to make the country an international trade hub.

Earlier, Dr Benedict Oramah, the President of Afreximbank, said that the structured trade finance training was meant to equip participants with the skills to structure bankable trade and supply chain finance deals of varying levels of complexity.

Oramah said the seminar was to prepare them as agents for driving intra-African trade and structural transformation of the continent.

He said it was also intended to bring to the fore the rapid changes affecting trade financing and what they might mean for the way deals were originated and structured.

According to Oramah, there is growing realisation of the urgent need for Africa to become more integrated, trade more with itself and create the necessary environment to drive intra-regional investments as a means to accelerating development.

“Intra-African trade can only expand if Africa produced more diversified products and risks associated with financing of such trade can be adequately mitigated.

“The role of financing in all of these cannot be overemphasized. Due to novelty of regional markets, there is the need to create instruments that will mitigate payment risks, including country risks for traders.

“Bankers doing business in Africa have to be adaptive and responsive to the needs of the continent and the evolving operating environment,” he said.

Referring to the role of technology in supply chain finance, he said that block chain technology, artificial intelligence and the spread of mobile payments had implications on the skills, technology and regulatory framework that would govern trade financing into the future.

He said that African bankers and banks should, therefore, be prepared for the rapidly changing business environment.

Oramah identified data as an emerging new commodity class and argued that the “entity that controls data is the entity that controls the world.”

He commended the Government of Cape Verde for the bold actions it was taking to achieve economic transformation, including effort to make the island of Cape Verde a major hub for aviation.

The seminar and workshops, the 17th in the series, is being attended by more than 200 high-profile participants, including chief executive officers, managing directors and senior managers representing banks, other financial institutions, and entities involved in promoting trade.

About 1,600 African trade finance professionals have taken part in the seminars and workshops since they were introduced. This year’s event will end on Nov. 9.

Afreximbank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.

The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.
The bank is headquartered in Cairo.

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