NAIROBI, 9 January, 2018 – In his New Year message President Salva Kiir Mayardit emphasized the need to build a peaceful, prosperous, secure, and stable South Sudan. The country’s now completed membership in the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) underscores this message. With financial support from the African Development Bank, The Republic of South Sudan was able to complete its membership with an initial share capital subscription of USD7.8 million.
ATI supports African countries like South Sudan by covering risks to companies and investors doing business in its member countries. The company covers investment and trade risks ranging from breach of contract to non-payment and government expropriation. ATI’s specialist insurance products frequently underpin major investments within Africa. The products make cross-border investments attractive to lenders, traders and equity investors and ultimately, they help increase foreign direct investments into Africa.
ATI plays a unique role in African markets – it has both a commercial and a developmental mandate, enabling it to support fragile countries to achieve economic recovery. ATI paves the way for international investors to reap opportunities in these emerging markets. Ultimately, ATI’s presence offers assurance to investors and international financiers that their investments will be protected in the event of specific country risks.
ATI has been on a growth trajectory since 2012 averaging 25% growth in profits annually and expanding its footprint across Africa. The company is on track to log record results for the sixth consecutive year having supported well in excess of USD2 billion in insured trade and investments across Africa in 2017 alone. ATI also plans to pay its first dividends to shareholders this year.
South Sudan is the fourth country in a growing list of new member countries to join ATI since 2014. These include Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. The combined population of ATI’s member countries is now around 500 million, reflecting the substantial opportunities for investors in ATI member states.
“We are delighted to welcome South Sudan as the 14th African country to join ATI. Our continued geographic and financial growth reflects the significant demand for our products and recognition of our ability to provide strong support to our member countries. We look forward to partnering with South Sudan to help the country build a stable and strong economy,” noted George Otieno, the CEO of ATI.
Recognizing ATI’s catalytic role in African economies, ATI’s membership push into new countries is supported by the African Development Bank (“AfDB”), which to date has provided a combined USD30 million in concessional loans for the membership subscriptions of Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire as well as an increase in the capital subscription of Benin and partial payment of Zimbabwe’s subscription reflecting AfDB’s catalytic role in African economies. Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria are the countries expected to join in the near term.