Minister Bbumba to host Kampala launch gala for Africa’s Only Credit & Political Risk Insurer

NAIROBI, 4 May, 2009 

The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), a pan-African international organisation supplying credit and political risk insurance to exporters, investors and companies doing business in Africa, is opening its doors in Kampala.

"Our goal in Uganda is the same as our goal throughout Africa. We want to help the continent spread the word that Africa is open for business. How do we plan to do this?" ATI's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Jones explains "we will continue to leverage our stable 'A' Standard & Poor's rating to obtain reinsurance support in the international markets on competitive terms. We expect African companies as well as outside investors doing business in Africa to benefit the most from these terms and from our international partnerships with private insurers like Lloyd's of London."

In a weakening global market and an increasingly fragile African economy, proving that Africa is open for business may seem a tall order. The Nairobi-based institution however, continues to heed the strong signals from its clients indicating that now, more than ever, there is high demand for its products. In Uganda, this demand has led to a project pipeline with a transaction value estimated at over US$250 million.

One of the targeted groups expected to benefit from ATI's presence in Uganda, are the Ugandan flower growers. For just over a year, ATI has been working with the flower exporters industry to create a specialised insurance product that will protect the Floricultural sector against export credit risks. This product is expected to launch later this year. ATI also plans to roll out a ground breaking product it developed for Kenya in 2008 covering Political Violence, Civil Disturbance, Terrorism and Sabotage.

For nearly two years, ATI has been working with business executives, the Bank of Uganda, the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda and many more partners to create tailor-made products for the Ugandan market. Last year, these efforts concluded in the completion of ATI's first transaction in Uganda, a US$25 million Political Risk Insurance cover to the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) supporting an investment to partially finance the design, construction and operation of the 5-star Kampala Hilton Hotel.

In 2001, Uganda was one of the founding members of ATI. Since then the Agency has received enquiries worth over US$ 1.7 billion in transaction values. These enquiries relate to trade and investment opportunities in Uganda's agribusiness, construction, financial, housing, mining, oil & gas, power, services, and telecommunications sectors.

A former international corporate banker, who specialised in project and structured finance, ATI's CEO notes "what we are trying to do is increase the insurance capacity available in Africa by introducing private insurers to the continent. Our role is to make them comfortable by removing the perception that Africa is high-risk."

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) is an African owned International Financial Institution. Founded in 2001 by African States with the financial and technical support of The World Bank Group, ATI provides a range of customised, innovative and competitively priced Credit and Political Risk Insurance Products to support African investments and trade. Since writing its first policy in 2003, ATI has supported US$1.2 billion in trade and investments across Africa.

In 2008, ATI issued insurance policies covering political and commercial risks for transactions worth US$769 million. The Agency also supported exports worth US$95 million from its African Member States. The sectors supported include; telecommunications, manufacturing, agribusiness, education, export, services, hotels, mining and residential housing. Beneficiaries include manufacturers/exporters of goods/services located in Member States, regional and international banks who are providing financial support to regional businesses, investors investing in the region, and the overall business community in ATI's Member States.

ATI offers Political Risk Insurance for Trade & Investment, Political Violence, Terrorism & Sabotage Cover, Comprehensive Non-payment Cover, Inter & Intra- Regional and Domestic Whole Turnover Credit Insurance, Project Loan Cover, Unfair Calling of Bonds Insurance and Mobile Assets Insurance.

The Agency's paid in capital is US$86 million, with US$54 million in additional committed capital.

Awarded a Stable Long Term 'A Stable' rating for Financial Strength and Counterparty Credit by Standard & Poor's in 2008, ATI is on track to continue providing effective cover to Africa. 

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