In its interactive session series, themed ‘AfCFTA – The Road Ahead,’ Coronation Merchant Bank recently held a virtual event featuring Francis Anatogu, Executive Secretary of the National Action Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Areas.
Komi Tsowou, Economic Affairs Officer at African Trade Policy Center, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and Chinwe Egwim, Chief Economist, Coronation Merchant Bank also participated in the virtual event.
Anatogu disclosed that the strategic objective of Nigeria’s participation in the AfCFTA was to capture 10% of Africa’s imports and double the country’s export revenues by 2025.
“The AfCFTA provides a platform to improve resilience in our economy and make every state economically viable”, he explained.
Tsowou noted that Africa is essentially living off exports which come into Africa from the rest of the world, which means that there is a huge gap that products made in Africa can fill.
“One thing COVID-19 has shown us is that during crisis, supply disruption makes countries that are heavily dependent on remote markets very vulnerable.
“The AfCFTA is creating an African market for African products which will contribute to the reduction of this export gap and our over reliance on exports of world markets.
“By 2045, intra-trade can increase as much as 40 per cent with the AfCFTA as a catalyst compared to 20 per cent if the AfCFTA was not in place”, the expert said.
Banjo Adegbohungbe, chief executive officer at Coronation Merchant Bank, observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally reshaped the international trade landscape.
“From supply chain disruptions to higher logistics cost to the adoption of digital platforms, the landscape has continued to evolve. More than ever before, organizations have been faced with multiple challenges while trying to meet their strategic objectives
“The expansion of Intra-African trade is a critical enabler for the Nigerian economy. As Africa continues on its journey to economic recovery, it must look inwards and strive to leverage the resources and synergies in growing trade finance not just for the benefit of Africa but for the whole world.”
Established in 2015, Coronation Merchant Bank has been rated ‘B-‘with a Stable Outlook by Fitch, one of the ‘Top 3’ global rating agencies, making it the first and only Nigerian Merchant Bank to receive an international risk rating. It also attained a strong investment grade rating of “A+” with a stable outlook in 2021 (the highest among Merchant Banks in Nigeria), according to foremost rating agency, Agusto & Co.