YOKOHAMA, 30 August, 2019 – The Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD7) concludes today. The event, which has grown into one of the largest Africa-focused international events, provided a platform for billions worth partnerships and transactions to be sealed.
Among these newly formed agreements, the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Japan’s export credit agency, also announced the launch of a Japan Desk, which will be housed by ATI in Nairobi. The two institutions committed to strengthening risk mitigation cover to entice more Japanese companies and investors to enter the African market. The Japan Desk will facilitate this process.
ATI also penned agreements in the form of MoUs with three of Japan’s leading banks – Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Mizuho Bank. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) signed an earlier MoU with ATI. The agreements signal to the world that Japan views Africa as a strategic investment destination, which will also provide an opportunity for Japanese companies and investors to more effectively capitalize on the current opportunities in the fastest growing continent in the world.
In the last three years, ATI has provided insurance to protect some of Japan’s largest lenders against the risk of sovereign default on transactions that have collectively brought close to US$1Bn to the continent. Some of this financing has helped countries to reprofile short-term, and often pricey local currency debt, into longer-term and more affordable structures.
The financing has also supported a wide range of priority sectors and, in the case of two ground-breaking capital markets transactions arranged by Japan’s largest bank, ATI-backed financing has facilitated the crowding-in of a new class of institutional investors to the continent. With a strong pipeline of transactions valued at over US$1 Bn along with these strengthened partnerships, ATI expects to support many more Japanese exporters and banks in deals across Africa in the coming years.
Mr. John Lentaigne, Acting CEO, African Trade Insurance Agency
“Our participation at TICAD7 has yielded great results. We’re excited about the prospect of providing greater levels of risk mitigation to Japanese companies and financiers, which we see as key to unlocking even more Japanese investments into Africa.”
Mr. Atsuo Kuroda, Chairman and CEO, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)
“Establishing the cooperation framework between NEXI and ATI is one of the most fruitful outcome which we have achieved during TICAD7. We are very pleased to announce that “Japan Desk” will be set up in ATI, a reputable multilateral financial institution which has a great track record to support African projects so that Japanese companies can obtain easy access to the reliable risk mitigation solution provided by ATI. As I promised in the TICAD7 official side-event, NEXI will closely work with ATI to facilitate Japanese businesses in Africa.”
Mr. Christopher Marks, Managing Director, MUFG
“ATI has established itself as a singular force for risk mitigation in Africa, leveraging the authority of its supranational status to make possible highly efficient private-sector financing for strategic development projects across the continent. ATI is an unequalled partner for high order innovation in this space.”
Mr. Hiroshi Nagamine, Managing Executive Officer, Head of EMEA, Mizuho Bank, Ltd
“The signing of this MOU is an expression of Mizuho’s strong will and desire to develop further our African business. Our strategy in building our regional footprint is to work closely with undoubted local parties. Counterparties that have excellent reputation, specialist expertise, deep regional know how and experience.
“ATI is an absolutely ideal partner given its reputation both as a regional champion and also as an institution at the very forefront of creating sophisticated funding solutions to meet the ever more complex needs of entities doing business in Africa.
“Signing this MOU will provide Mizuho better flexibility; by availing ourselves to ATI’s sophisticated funding solutions, we will be better able to support our clients in Africa.”
Tetsuro Imaeda, Managing Executive Officer & Head of EMEA Division, SMBC
“Cooperating with local financial institutions in Africa is indispensable for us to expand our Africa business and respond to customer needs.
“By signing this MoU between one of our most important partners in Africa, ATI, SMBC will be able to support our client’s business to Africa through a wide range of coverage of ATI in the continent and expects to further strengthen the existing strong relationship.”