ABIDJAN, 25 June, 2018 – The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) will hold its18th Annual General Meeting in Abidjan, which is being co-hosted by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire. In 2017, the country became the second West African country to join into membership, where ATI has plans to open an office later this year along with a regional office in Cotonou.
In Côte d’Ivoire, ATI has backed a USD30 million loan that will enable a government agency to import the necessary materials to complete a road construction project. ATI has also insured a USD15 million loan to help the country refine its petroleum, which will be used domestically and exported to neighbouring countries. These projects are in addition to a large pipeline of transactions that ATI expects to complete in the coming months.
ATI is a one-of-a-kind institution. It is owned by African countries as well as international and African corporations. The company was formed in 2001 by Comesa-member countries with funding from the World Bank, in order to provide investment/political risk insurance to investors because political risks were seen as the biggest impediment to attracting greater volumes of foreign direct investments into Africa. ATI has since expanded its products to include trade credit in order to help African member governments increase trade volumes and to trade more with each other.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), which is itself a shareholder in ATI, has also become an important strategic partner to ATI, providing concessional funding to countries that want to become members of ATI. In 2015, the AfDB Group approved a combined USD30 million soft loan to Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia to be utilized for membership subscriptions. As a result, Benin was able to increase its share subscription and Cote d’Ivoire and Ethiopia were able to complete their membership in ATI.
The Bank is also increasingly partnering with ATI on priority projects that include ATI insuring their USD159 million loan to Ethiopian Airlines to support the carrier’s fleet expansion.
“ATI is an institution that many people will never know about but ironically, we are often the most important piece of the financing puzzle for most countries and investors. We are like a bridge that allows investments and trade to travel smoothly within and into the continent,” noted George Otieno, ATI’s Chief Executive Officer.
During the two-day events, which begin with the company’s Investor Roundtable on Wednesday 27 June, ATI will host an impressive line-up of international speakers and African Ministers of Finance.
Working successfully in Africa requires an understanding of the political and financial landscape. Success also depends on the ability to mitigate investor risks effectively. This applies equally to governments, who occupy the public sector space as well as to investors and corporations in the private sector.
As governments continue to spend on improving infrastructure across the continent, investors and companies are following. But neither is possible on a significant scale without investment insurance cover. This is the space that is now being filled by private and multilateral insurers along with development finance institutions, who are increasingly working hand in hand with insurers to fill the capacity gaps and to provide solutions for governments.
The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) is Africa’s only multilateral investment insurer, and is helping to provide innovative solutions to both the private and public sectors to ensure that investments and trade continue to flow across the continent. In this position, ATI has unique access to governments as well as to global financial institutions. This is the rationale behind ATI’s Annual Roundtable – to bring together leading investors and financiers together with African governments for a full day of candid discussion on how to effectively mitigate African risks in order to unlock the continent’s opportunities.
On Thursday, 28th June, ATI will hold its 18th AGM, where delegates will review and approve the company’s 2017 accounts and deliberate several resolutions. The company is also expected to announce plans to pay shareholders its first dividends this year and to also introduce its new Board of Directors and Chairman, Dr. Yohannes Ayalew Birru, the Executive Director of the Ethiopian Development Research Institute.
SPEAKERS AT ATI’s 5TH ANNUAL INVESTOR ROUNDTABLE