Afreximbank expresses interest in Brazzaville-Kinshasa Bridge
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is interested in participating in the syndicated facility for the construction of the bridge between Brazzaville and Kinshasa to link the two Congos, Bank President Prof. Benedict Oramah announced in Kinshasa on Wednesday.
President Oramah who was briefing President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), when he led an Afreximbank delegation on a state visit to the Congolese President, said that the Bank’s other areas of interest in the country included the power and energy development project at the INGA 3 Dam, attracting foreign direct investment into the mining sector and attracting its Intra-African Trade Champions and foreign investors into the country for capacity building, partnership and financing.
He noted that the Bank had been providing ongoing support to the DRC, particularly in the areas of infrastructural development, such as roads and bridges, provision of a refinancing window to commercial banks through the Banque Centrale du Congo which allowed banks provide long term financing to support investments, and support for local content promotion for extractive industries to provide advisory services to develop local content policy and financing models.
Prof. Oramah, who also briefed President Tshisekedi about the Bank’s products, services and facilities and expressed the Bank’s readiness to support the DRC’s development agenda, took the opportunity of the visit to commiserate with President Tshisekedi on the death of his father, Etienne Tshisekedi, a former Prime Minister of the DRC.
Mr. Tshisekedi commended Prof. Oramah and Afreximbank for their invaluable support to the DRC’s economic expansion and expressed the country’s commitment to facilitating the execution of the Bank’s transactions.
He noted that there were many projects and opportunities in the DRC which the Bank could tap into and said that the government’s major priority areas included education, healthcare, governance and local content promotion, which was a major focus of the development strategyfor indigenous companies.
According to the President, the government’s focus is the development and enhancement of the vital roles that locals can play in the economic development of rural communities.
Accompanying the Afreximbank delegation were Ahmed Elsewedy and Walid Loukil, chief executive officers of Elsewedy Electric and the Loukil Group, two of the Bank’s Intra Africa Trade Champions with business interests in the DRC, which the Bank is supporting.
Elsewedy plans to invest $400 million in solar projects, transmission lines, prepaid meters and water intheDRC while the Loukil Group in pursuing market sounding for the expansion of storage facilities for refined oil products.
The two companies gave presentations about their groups and the services they could provide. Elsewedy subsequently signed two memorandums of understanding, one with Societe Nationale D’Electricite of the DRC for a solar plant, a sub-station, supply of prepaid electrical meters and electricity transmission lines, and the other with Regideso, the national water corporation.
The Intra-African Trade Champions programme supports companies with proven intra-African trade experience, operations and with value chains spanning across countries with interventions, which include financing, market access and technical assistance.
The Afreximbank delegation also included Rene Awambeng, Director and Global, Head Client Relations; Ekene Uzor, Special Assistant to the President on Banking and Strategy; Alain-Thierry Mbongue, Regional Chief Operating Officer, Francophone West and Central Africa; Ayman El-Zoghby, of the Intra-Africna Trade Initiative; Adaeze Anyaoku of the Communications and Events Department; and Yikilah Ndahne of the Office of the President.