Cairo, 26 Nov. 2019: – The drive by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to promote, facilitate and develop industrial parks and export processing zones is aimed at increasing value addition, broadening market access and promoting export development to support the structural transformation of the economies of its Member States, Oluranti Doherty, Head of the Bank’s Export Development unit, has said.
Speaking on 13 November during the opening of a two-day workshop on special economic zones organised by Afreximbank in Ezulwini, Eswatini, Ms. Doherty said that industrialization and export development was one of the four pillars of the Bank’s current strategic plan.
“The Bank is playing a key role in enabling a fast-track for the industrialization of Africa,” she said. “Afreximbank is also supporting the establishment of an internationally accredited African Quality Assurance Centre for testing, inspection and certification to ensure compliance with international technical regulations” as development of adequate conformity assessment infrastructure will contribute to enhancing the competitiveness and attractiveness of “Made-In-Africa” goods.
Ms. Doherty said that the workshop had been organised to raise participants’ capacity in understanding special economic zones, their objectives and purposes, the steps to their development and the issues involved in financing and developing them.
Manqoba Khumalo, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade of Eswatini, expressed the commitment of the government to ensuring the Kingdom’s industrial development, acknowledging that the development of special economic zones and industrial parks could play a significant role in that regard.
He expressed appreciation to Afreximbank for its support to the government and for organising the workshop which, he noted, was building the capacity of Eswatini officials.
Also addressing the workshop was Albert Chibi, Director of the Investor Road Map Unit of Eswatini.
Participants in the workshop were drawn from Eswatini, Namibia, Malawi and Mozambique. Afreximbank plans to organise similar workshops for French speaking member countries, countries in East Africa and selected countries in West Africa.