HARARE – The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said it is seeking to engage a consulting firm to carry out a feasibility study on the construction of a multi-million dollar complex in Zimbabwe’s capital city.
Afreximbank will build a permanent regional office for southern Africa in Harare with an integrated one-stop trade services shop.
It is the first of its so-called “trade centres” — mini business parks for African trade — that Afreximbank is planning to open across the continent.
The trade centre will include a range of facilities, such as an auditorium conference centre, a trade information centre, corporate rental office space for trade promoting bodies, export credit agencies and commercial banks, an innovation and incubation hub for small businesses, and shops and restaurants.
“The project, when completed, will transform Zimbabwe into an intra-African trade hub, a centre of knowledge and information about markets, and a centre where major deals can be struck,” says Afreximbank president Benedict Oramah.
He adds that the project will enable Afreximbank to expand its operations in southern Africa in size, scope and complexity.
The latest development comes as the regional lender has pledged a $1,5 billion economic stabilisation package for the country earmarked for the resuscitation productive sectors to stimulate more exports.
“We discussed various areas where we have been intervening and will continue to intervene.
“We also informed the president that the $600 million we engaged a few weeks ago has now been finalised,” he said after meeting President
Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday. “We also discussed a number of areas that will involve additional investments from us, something that will be in the order of $1 billion to $1,5 billion that will include certain kinds of guarantees to encourage investors to come into Zimbabwe at this time.
“It will include a $150 million facility we are doing for banks to enable them to confirm letters of credit to ensure that we have good supply of essential items like fuel, fertilisers and so on,” Oramah added.