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AFD and African Export-Import Bank to Support Vaccination Against Covid-19 and Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Africa
Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed on 9 December 2021 a 150-million-euro framework of intent to support the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) in its efforts to open up access to Covid-19 vaccines to African states based on a whole-of-Africa approach, while working together to provide financing for sustainable and inclusive investments across the continent.

The collaboration framework was concluded between Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank and Mr. Christian Yoka, Director of the Africa Department at AFD, at the end of the partnership meeting held in Cairo. 

As part of AVAT, Afreximbank is providing a unique financial structure including a purchase guarantee to vaccine manufacturers and an installment payment plan to African States to fund the purchase of the vaccines. The collaboration between Afreximbank and AFD will help AVAT meet the challenges of Covid-19 vaccination in Africa and the continental goal of vaccinating at least 70% of the African population. 

The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Africa have not only been health related, but also socio-economic. In 2020 Africa experienced its first recession in 50 years, leaving the continent with lasting negative effects on public finances and investor confidence, combined with a significant increase of 30 million people from 2020 to 2021 in the number of people living in extreme poverty, especially youth and women.

Against this backdrop, unlocking finance for sustainable and inclusive development in Africa is considered a priority for AFD and Afreximbank. In addition, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is expected to play a significant role in growing trade and strengthening financial flows in support of sustainable and inclusive investments in Africa. The partnership agreement between AFD and Afreximbank therefore aims to expand sustainable financing for African investments and businesses, in addition to supporting the vaccination campaign against Covid-19.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Professor Benedict Oramah stated that this new collaboration reinforces an increasingly strong partnership between AFD and Afreximbank. 

“We are delighted to have AFD on board to support our efforts with AVAT to help procure Covid-19 vaccines for African states. We are particularly pleased that this collaboration also addresses the need to finance inclusive and sustainable investments, which is also one of our priorities. We value the flourishing relationship we have with AFD and look forward to working together in many other areas of mutual interest," said Professor Oramah.

On the occasion of the signing, Mr. Christian Yoka indicated that “With the President of Afreximbank we have discussed the common economic development challenges of the African continent, highlighted the critical importance of unleashing financing for sustainable and inclusive investments in Africa and agreed on common objectives and goals to improve the health conditions of the African people, in a context marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Today’s signing between AFD and Afreximbank of the Framework of Intent worth EUR 150 million in support of Covid 19 vaccine and sustainable and inclusive financing in African, is meant to renew our common engagement to support Africa’s socioeconomic systems. In addition to previous financial operations amounting to EUR 450 million, this new operation stands to demonstrate our full alignment in addressing the challenges facing Africa in terms of regional integration, climate change, and the ongoing pandemic."

Background information

Since 2015, the relationship between AFD and Afreximbank has increasingly grown and gradually turned into a partnership based on shared goals and attention for the sustainable economic development of the African continent. The partnership between AFD and Afreximbank amount up to EUR 450.5 million. First, the partnership was focusing on promoting the competitiveness and diversification of African exports, enhance African exports, foster the insertion of local content and the creation of value chains and regional trade integration. This partnership has reached new heights which focuses more on mainstreaming climate-friendly and social inclusive financing solutions across the continent, aside from their support altogether to vaccination against Covid-19 on the African continent, through the AVAT initiative.  

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