AFRICA—The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to amplify the impact of their strategically aligned joint efforts to promote global trade, leveraging Africa’s unique resource endowment.

The MoU, signed in Cairo, Egypt, will allow the two organizations to pursue a collaborative framework for harmonizing and coordinating their efforts to deepen key trade development activities on the continent.

Afreximbank and the WTO are part of an inter-agency partnership championing transformative change in the cotton industry in Africa’s Cotton-4 plus (C4+) countries, which include Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mali, as well as Côte d’Ivoire, which is an observer.

The MoU will allow the Bank and the WTO Secretariat to expand and deepen their collaboration to support the cotton sector beyond the C4+ countries. 

Their support will entail developing local and regional cotton value chains in Africa and integrating them into the global value chain.

The WTO Secretariat is a natural partner to Afreximbank given our shared mandate of promoting trade and trade-related activities,” President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said.

“We are already working with the Secretariat on FIFA’s C4+ Cotton Initiative, for which we have committed financing for project preparation for cotton transformation projects in Africa. 

“Formalising our relationship today signifies that we can go beyond our present collaboration to include other equally impactful interventions across key economic sectors in Africa.”

Another area of collaboration under the understanding will be on trade finance matters, addressing non-tariff barriers to trade, the digital economy, capacity building, the oceans’ economic and fisheries subsidies, the sports and creative economies, and trading in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The Bank recently signed a Charter with Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) and the Rebranding Africa Forum (RAF) to build a robust sports economy, which will include commercializing and monetizing African-made sports apparel and athleisure wear,” Oramah added.

“This is yet another undertaking that will benefit from this MoU with the WTO Secretariat.”

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