In continuation of its strategy to assist African businesses in increasing their international presence, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and international consultants Development Reimagined (DR) have entered into a partnership to promote the entry and sale of high-end sustainable African brands in China.
The partnership which includes a grant from Afreximbank, has seen Africa Reimagined (AR), a flagship programme created and managed by DR, introducing high-end value-added Made-in-Africa goods from such sectors as fashion, skincare and beverages, to China.
The AR team led Africa's participation at the 2023 China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) in Changsha from 29 June to 2 July, solidifying the partnership's dedication to fostering China-Africa trade relations and seizing the opportunity to further leverage growth.
The outing achieved several unprecedented milestones, including:
Exhibition of the largest number of luxury African brands to date – from 10 in 2019 to 20, including Maxhosa and Jessica Jane, two unique and luxury South African fashion brands; Taibo Bacar, Nkanda Yetu and Larry Jay, sustainable fashion brands from Mozambique, Zambia and Ghana respectively; Skin Gourmet, a beautifully branded Ghanaian skincare company; Zaaf – a handcrafted luxury bags and leather brand from Ethiopia; Monks Gin, a South African gin company; Yenae – a stunning jewelry brand from Ethiopia; and many more. Several brands successfully sold out their products and connected with many potential business partnerships to accelerate their entry into the Chinese market. For the first time, the participating fashion brands were invited to showcase in a fashion show and business match-making event. The skincare and beverage brands were invited to a business match-making and promotional event in the Gaoqiao China-Africa Free Trade Zone (FTZ). This led to the brands establishing strong connections with Gaoqiao and displaying their products in the FTZ for future business partnerships; The brands participated in numerous media interviews with Chinese news agencies, such as CGTN, Mango TV, and China Financial News, in addition to an exclusive interview with the BBC World Service's Focus on Africa Podcast with Skin Gourmet and DR CEO, Ms. Hannah Ryder. The booth was also visited by dignitaries from Rwanda, Uganda and Senegal.
Mr. Yusuf Daya, Director, AU/AfCFTA Relations and Trade Policy, Afreximbank, commented;
“We are encouraged about our partnership with Development Reimagined, aimed at enabling access of African brands to global markets. The vast Chinese consumer market provides immense opportunities for African businesses. We urge African entrepreneurs to embrace this challenge, crafting goods that resonate with the market, not only boosting the presence of African products in China but also fostering more jobs, collaborations, and economic growth. Alongside our partners, we will continue forging global partnerships that support African trade.”
The Afreximbank-DR partnership marks a significant milestone in promoting trade and economic cooperation between Africa and China, said Ms. Hannah Ryder, CEO, DR.
Noting that the Chinese consumer market, valued at US$6.3 trillion, was projected to experience substantial growth), DR reported that African exports to China amounted to US$117.5 billion in 2022, a remarkable 24-fold increase compared to 2000.
The collaboration with Afreximbank is expected to include follow-up activities over the next six months to cement the sales and partnerships made at CAETE, testifying to the unwavering commitment of Afreximbank and DR to driving sustainable economic development in Africa through scaled up and improved exports of Made-in-Africa products to China. By leveraging their respective networks, market insights, and financial capabilities, the partnership will facilitate accelerated and value-for-money entry into the Chinese market for African brands, thereby supporting the growth of African economies, contributing to job creation and fostering community development.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa's trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2022, Afreximbank's total assets and guarantees stood at over US$31 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.2 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$86 billion between 2016 and 2022. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody's (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together,“the Group”).