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IFC Seminar Aims to Boost Trade Finance in East Africa


In Johannesburg
Houtan Bassiri

Phone: +27 11 731 3179

E-mail: hbassiri
@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.

Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 (202) 758 4290
E-mail:
lpang@ifc.org


Dar es Salaam, April 14, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has completed a seminar that will help improve the trade finance operations of East African banks and better enable them to support local entrepreneurs and smaller businesses. The seminar was delivered in collaboration with InvesteQ Capital, a Kenyan company that specializes in financial advisory services.

The three-day seminar promoted tools for managing risks associated with trade finance products and services and facilitated agreements among banks in the region. It targeted high-level banking officials from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.


“Increasing trade in Africa is vital to promoting economic growth and development,” said IFC Director for Sub-Saharan Africa Thierry Tanoh, “The innovations in trade finance provided by IFC help expand opportunity and have a strong development impact across Africa, especially for smaller businesses.”


The seminar included sessions on international aspects of documentary credit, trade finance rules, and guarantee instruments, as well as the process of applying IFC guarantees to various financing structures in trade finance. Last year, IFC delivered 13 such training courses, reaching 130 bankers from 25 countries, mainly in Africa.


Launched in 2005, the IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide. It aims to increase developing countries’ share of global trade and promote flows of goods and services between them. To date, the program has provided more than $2 billion worth of guarantees to 97 issuing banks in 50 countries, with more than half of transactions supporting trade in Africa.

IFC also facilitates advisory services, an integral component of the program that helps participating banks build capacity in trade finance and international trade operations.


The seminar was attended by representatives from various banks in the region, including: from Ethiopia, United Bank S.C.; from Kenya, Barclays Bank, Chase Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, Fina Bank, I & M Bank, and Victoria Commercial Bank; from Malawi, NBS Bank; from Rwanda, Development Bank of Rwanda, and Banque de l’Habitat; from Tanzania, African Banking Corporation, Bank of Africa Tanzania, Commercial Bank of Africa, Exim Bank, Stanbic Bank, Standard Chartered, and Tanzania Investment Bank; and from Uganda, Diamond Trust Bank.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org or the trade finance program’s site at www.ifc.org/gtfp.

About InvesteQ Capital

IFC’s training partner for the course in Tanzania, InvesteQ Capital Ltd, is a financial services company based in Nairobi, Kenya. InvesteQ successfully delivered one of IFC’s GTFP courses held in Kigali Rwanda in 2007 and based on this success was contracted to facilitate the ongoing trade finance course in Tanzania.

InvesteQ’s key trainers are Ms. Jane Muigai Briggs and Mr. Dan Awendo. Ms. Briggs is an expert in Banking and Finance having worked for over 20 years with international and regional financial institutions in Treasury Management, Corporate Finance, Trade Finance and Capital Markets. Mr. Awendo is the founder and CEO of InvesteQ. With its focus on the SME sector,  InvesteQ seeks to deepen the financial services industry in Kenya by creating a fully fledged Private Equity and Venture Capital Fund in addition to creating innovative financial products and services for distribution to both users and suppliers of capital. InvesteQ has worked with several clients to secure alternative trade and other working capital facilities for them, with structures that allow them to access finance at competitive rates, but also remove the need for unnecessary over-collateralization.  


With this background experience, InvesteQ’s trainers have developed a unique approach to the training course through the use of practical and relevant case studies that allow course participants to work with real trade finance problems applicable to their trading environments. This hands-on approach ensures that the trainees are able to structure innovative solutions and deals to meet their client’s needs.