ATI Boosts Trade, Investment in Zimbabwe

The Africa Trade Insurance says it facilitated nearly half a billion dollars worth of trade and investment for two of its newest members, Zimbabwe, which joined last year and Ethiopia, in 2016. The subscription based membership said it facilitated financing of trade and investments in Kenya valued at close to $800 million, representing around 1,2 percent of Kenya's gross domestic product.

For Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, the company supported $400 million worth to trade and investment to these economies, which amounts to significant contribution to the economies of the two.

ATI chief executive Gorge Otieno said that the organisation continues to grow and aims to be trusted partner of African Government in terms of supporting trade and investment on the continent.

"With the addition of two economies added to our portfolio, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, we expect to achieve a better spread of risk along with the expansion of our footprint across Africa.

"Tied to this is a more strategic approach to underwriting risks in our member countries. This approach should see ATI become the partner of choice for African governments," said Mr Otieno.

Observers say this demonstrated real benefit because these financial flows could not have been realised without the support of ATI. ATI also insured $4 billion worth of trade and investments into member countries and backed strategic projects such as the $159 million loan from the African Development Bank for Ethiopian Airline.

The volume of business supported since Inception amounted to $25 billion an increase of 16 percent while Insured Trade and Investments (Gross Exposure) amounted to 1,9 billion, also 16 percent up.

ATI was founded in 2001 by African States to cover the trade and investment risks of companies doing business in Africa. It covers political risk, surety bonds, trade credit insurance and political violence and terrorism and sabotage.

As of 2016, ATI had supported $25 billion worth of trade and investments across Africa in sectors such as agribusiness, energy, exports, housing, infrastructure manufacturing, mining and telecoms.

Minister Bimha said Zimbabwe now needed to anticipate fruitful membership to the African Trade Insurance in the quest to promote trade with the rest of the world and attract foreign direct investment that will drive the country's industrialisation agenda and infrastructure development.