By Motolani Oseni
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a formal agreement for the acquisition of land for the New Administrative Capital African Trade Centre (NAC-ATC), which will house the Bank’s headquarters, along with other trade-supporting facilities and entities, in Egypt’s new administrative capital in Cairo.
The agreement provides for a complex that includes a conference centre, a hotel, an exhibition centre, an innovation hub and retail facilities.
Signed by Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, and Mr. Khaled Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of the Administrative Capital for Urban Development Company, during a ceremony at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the NAC-ATC is being developed as a “landmark mixed-use modern futuristic iconic one-stop-shop business complex with broad intra-African trade character and appeal” which is expected to position Egypt as the trade and investment gateway to Africa.
In addition to providing an integrated centre for trade information, trade services, trade finance and other trade facilitation services to African businesses, the NAC-ATC will bring together African and global trade ecosystems to create a powerful network that could be leveraged to explore business opportunities in those markets.
Speaking after the signing, Prof. Oramah said that NAC-ATC was being constructed to serve as the headquarters of the network of trade centres being established by Afreximbank across Africa to cover the continent’s commercial capitals.
He expressed confidence that NAC-ATC would facilitate Egypt’s trade with, and investment in, the rest of Africa and would have a significant impact on the country’s new capital city and on the Egyptian business community, noting that the centre would also host other export credit agencies, Development Financial Institutions, Exim banks, trade and investment promoting entities.
Prof. Oramah pointed out the significance of the signing of the agreement on the 31st of August, saying that the Bank’s Headquarters Agreement with the Government of Egypt was signed on the same date in 1994.
He expressed satisfaction that, “with NAC-ATC, we can now offer all our services under the umbrella of the ATC,” adding that the construction of the centre will commence immediately and serve as a rallying point for the African diplomatic corps and would open the door for other entities to follow.