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African Business Roundtable, Afreximbank Set Agenda For Project Preparation In Africa

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The African Business Roundtable (ABR) and the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) have rounded off their first webinar in series for project preparation in Africa.

The ABR and Afreximbank came together last week in a well- executed endeavor that is a passion of both organizations which is deeply rooted in bringing business projects to fruition.

The African Development Bank Group set up the ABR in 1990. It was established with the clear objective of supporting the private sector of Africa, nurturing it to a point of international success and recognition.

Today it is Africa’s foremost and continent-wide association of businesses and business leaders, and is the representative of the African Business Society to the United Nations (UN).

An independent, non-partisan, non-profit private sector funded organization, the ABR is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and is the only organization representing the African Private Sector within ECOSOC.

Similarly, Afreximbank, is a pan-African multilateral trade finance institution created in 1993 under the auspices of the African Development Bank. It is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. Afreximbank’s vision is to be the trade finance bank for Africa.

Afriximbank has also spent the past three decades committed to assisting African entrepreneurs and businesses in realizing their projects. It was this joint objective that led both organizations to coordinate the Project Preparation Master class webinar, free and accessible to all.

The webinar focused on filling a knowledge gap which is inhibiting African companies from accessing the financing needed to take their projects off the ground. Participants listened to banking and trade experts with decades of experience from all over the continent share insight on how best to approach the right investors to secure funding for their projects.

Meanwhile, poor planning and even poorer execution has been identified as a primary cause of startups failures, especially in Africa. The most brilliant plan will not secure the required funding if investors are not satisfied on the viability of a project, and many startups lack the knowledge and skill needed to take their plan through the required stages – from idea generation to pitch presentation.
Head of Project Preparation at Afreximbank, Zitto Alfayo said out of every ten transactions conceived in Africa, only one gets to financial closing.

“We have analyzed and found that the key challenge comes in at the feasibility stage. This is where one needs to commit resources, time and effort in order to get to bankability”, he said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Director AU/AfCFTA Relations and Trade Policy at Afreximbank said: “We recognize that trade finance in Africa continues to be handicapped by liquidity constraints, further worsened by the withdrawal from Africa by foreign banks and low access to financing for SMEs For this reason, the Afreximbank has prioritized facilitating trade finance on the continent”.

In his closing remarks, the ABR Country Director for Zambia, Dr. Mohammed El Sahili stressed that the issue of attracting funding from investors is of great importance and therefore in the interest of entrepreneurs and businesses to acquire this skill.

“The next webinar in this series is scheduled for September 28th 2022, and will focus on case studies of real projects and center on specificities of project preparation”, he concluded.

Other speakers at the webinar include, Justin Chinyanta, Vice President of the ABR Southern African Region and CEO of Loita Capital Partners and Nana Amoto Mensah, Executive Director C-NERGY Global Holdings in Ghana.


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