ATI signs cooperation agreement with DHAMAN to increase Gulf/Sub-Saharan African trade flows
A cooperation agreement to increase trade between Arab countries and Sub-Saharan Africa took centre stage during the 5th Annual Meeting of the Aman Union – a professional forum to raise awareness and use of commercial and non-commercial risk insurers and reinsurers largely in the Arab region. The meeting, which took place in Tehran in mid-November saw the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) and the Arab Investment Credit Guarantee Corporation (DHAMAN) – a co-founder of the Aman Union – signed an agreement that will pave the way to information sharing on prospective buyers as well as technical knowledge to increase capacity in both institutions, assistance with debt collection and reinsurance support.
“The Arab region and Sub-Saharan Africa have strong historical linkages and some common challenges to boosting trade and attracting investments – we believe that this shared experience will translate into helping our respective member countries to do more business with one another, to diversify our economies and to increasing our global competitiveness,” commented Jef Vincent, ATI’s Chief Underwriting Officer and a signatory to the agreement.
Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind the rest of the world in trade – both intra-regional and its dealings with countries outside the continent. Diversification of exports, improved infrastructure and scaling up exports to higher-cost processed goods could considerably lift Africa’s trade statistics. Similarly, Gulf economies are reliant on oil and rank just slightly higher than Africa on the intra-regional trade scale.
In Africa, most exports are limited to a small list of commodities, which include:
- cocoa and coffee from Burundi, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana and Rwanda;
- aluminum from Guinea and Mozambique;
- cotton from Burkina Faso and Mali;
- cashew nuts from Gambia and Guinea Bissau; and
- tobacco from Malawi
Working together, ATI with its credit risk and investment insurance products could help unlock new sources of trade that could include manufactured goods, agricultural products and importation of equipment, skilled professionals and materials to support both region’s economic and infrastructure development efforts.