Government of Tanzania signs Agreement with ATI, pointing to an office launch in 2010
NAIROBI, 17 December, 2009
The Government of Tanzania officially agreed to host a local office of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), Africa's only multilateral trade credit and political risk insurer.Under the signed Host Country Agreement, ATI will be free to operate in Tanzania with the privileges of a multilateral organisation. The Honourable Minister Bernard Membe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Ivan Alippi, Acting Chief Executive Officer of ATI signed the Agreement at a Ministry-hosted ceremony.
Other dignitaries in attendance at the signing ceremony included, Israel Kamuzora, Tanzania's Commissioner of Insurance and ATI's Board Chair, and Mrs. Esther Mkwizu and Dr. Evans Rweikiza of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, the future hosts of ATI's Tanzania office.
"ATI has operated in Tanzania for several years now but with this agreement the government is formally inviting us to play an even greater role in their economy. We expect Tanzanian exporters and those interested in investing their money here to reap the benefits," noted ATI's Acting CEO, Ivan Alippi.
With a menu of trade credit and political risk insurance products, ATI is helping alleviate many of the trade and investment challenges that have hindered exports and foreign direct investments into Africa.
In a transaction that demonstrates the facilitating role ATI plays in attracting inward investments, ATI supported a transaction to supply Tanzania with vegetable oil -- a valuable commodity used in renewable energy products and domestic consumption. ATI provided political risk insurance to a Dutch bank to purchase the vegetable oil, which was then sold to buyers in Tanzania.
In another transaction, ATI supplied a local Dar-based textile manufacturer with trade credit risk insurance to protect its export sales against payment default to buyers in China, Columbia, Rwanda, Portugal and Italy.
Since 2002, ATI has supported transactions in Tanzania's energy, telecommunications, mining, agriculture and textiles sectors. With the launch of a local office expected in 2010, the Agency hopes to capitalise on demand in the Tanzanian market valued at some $1.6 billion worth of transactions.
"The financial crisis revealed the vulnerability of African exporters. The credit crunch also reinforced the need for ATI's products as we've seen by the increased demand. This Agreement will move us one step closer to establishing an office in Tanzania and to better serving the local market," explained Albert Rweyemamu, ATI's future Resident Representative Underwriter in Tanzania.
Establishing a local presence in Tanzania is part of a broader decentralization strategy designed to bring ATI's products and services closer to clients within their member countries. ATI has existing regional offices in Uganda and Zambia/Malawi with offices in Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo also expected to launch in 2010. The decentralisation strategy will also see West African countries obtaining membership into ATI followed by the opening of regional offices within the next two years.
The demand for ATI's products has shown a positive growth trend in 2009 in light of the global financial crisis. The Agency's 2009 financial results will be unveiled at its Annual General Meeting to be held in Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010.