Feed back from the 43rd Council, Lagos-Nigeria

Session II (of the 18th Round Table) : Opportunities for Economic and Logistical Development with AFCFTA.

Session Chair: Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority.
During this session, three (03) key actors in the field of economic and logistical development with AfCFTA intervened. They were :
– Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Nigeria,
– Mr. Adewole Gege, Manager FZO&M, LADOL, and
– Barrister Funmi Folorunso, the Co-Champion for Transportation on AfCFTA,
The presentations revealed that funding possibilities for infrastructural development and innovation projects geared towards trade facilitation in Africa exist and others are being created. With examples like the China Fund, participants were made to understand that vessel financing is in the process of becoming a reality for intra-African trade. Harnessing these opportunities will require that governments and different subregional technical communities work together to pull down the identified obstacles to trade facilitation initiatives. Some asset financing options that were highlighted are AfCFTA’s direct funds, private initiatives, Afrexim, and African Shipping Lines.

A number of additional points were made during the interactions, regarding the following:
– The need for the quality of goods being shipped to comply with international norms and African Standards,
– Cargo-based ship asset financing is the way forward as prescribed by AfCFTA. This is relevant because the volume of cargo traffic will generate the income needed to service the vessel acquisition funds,
– There is need for government agencies to provide the enabling environment for these initiatives to thrive.

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