COMESA and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed an agreement for the implementation of the COMESA Regional Customs Transit Guarantee.
With the signing of the agreement, the Bank is now set to begin the implementation of its US$1billion Continental Transit Guarantee Scheme, of which about US$200 million is earmarked for the COMESA region.
The Agreement was signed today by Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank and Dr. Elirehima Joshuo Doriye, Chairperson of the Council of Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG).
It sets the stage for the implementation of the Afreximbank African Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme (AACTGS), a programme designed to facilitate the smooth transit of goods across Africa through a continent-wide single-technology enabled transit guarantee scheme.
Through the scheme, Afreximbank will ensure that, when goods do not complete their transit, sums are paid in line with the duties and taxes that would have been required, thereby enhancing tax collection for African nations.
In addition, the transit guarantees provided by the Bank will enable businesses to release working capital otherwise tied up as collateral against transit bonds, while also accelerating the movement of goods across borders.
Prof. Benedict Orama said the launch of the Transit Guarantee Scheme is a milestone in Africa’s journey towards deepening regional integration.
He said the programme is a key tool for delivering on the vision of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and that the scheme will facilitate the seamless flow of goods in a connected Africa.
“It will accelerate trade, reduce the cost of trading, release capital for businesses investment, improve the bankability of intra-African trade, and in the end, reduce prices for consumers.
“The launch of the scheme in the COMESA region is a momentous occasion, but is also just the first step in a programme designed to be implemented across the entire continent. With this scheme, the Cape to Cairo road project will become a financially viable cross-continental trade route,” said Prof. Benedict Oramah.