Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Lawmakers in The Gambia Monday ratified the first ever African Export-Import Bank to facilitate effective and efficient operation of a trade financing institution on the continent.
The bill, presented to parliamentarians by Gambian Foreign Minister Dr. Mamadou Tangara, accords the bank diplomatic status, giving it privileges such as immunities and concessions to operate in The Gambia.
According to him, the main objective behind the establishment of the Africa Export-Import Bank is to facilitate, promote and expand intra-Africa and extra- Africa trade.
Dr. Tangara pointed out that the government of The Gambia had obligations towards the Africa Export-Import Bank.
Sidia Jatta, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Standing Committee of the National Assembly, said over five decades of independence Africa was yet to improve the conduct of its foreign trade.
“That is so because the continent has not yet succeeded in transforming its position of being producers of raw materials and importers of everything else,” Jatta said.
Jatta, the lawmaker for Wuli West, Upper River Region, said the rest of the world was what fettered its development and accounted for the impoverishment of its people.
“Africa only exports untransformed products and the prices are determined by those who buy them. When it imports the same value-added products, prices are determined by those who transformed them and the continent pays highly for them after having sold them cheaply.
“It was in the quest to change that situation fundamentally in order to break path for Africa’s economic development, in the domain of foreign trade, that need was felt for the creation of an international financing institution which will address the negative,” he said.
Jatta further highlighted the fundamental objectives of having such a bank that sought to extend direct credit to eligible African exporters, in any appropriate form, by means of providing pre-shipment finance.
It seeks to extend indirect short-term credit, promote and finance non-traditional African goods and services, provide finance to export-generative African imports, preference being given to imports of African origin, including imports of equipment, spare-parts and raw materials, as deemed appropriate by the bank.
He pointed out that the bank would promote and provide insurance and guarantee services covering commercial and non-commercial risks associated with African export.
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