The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is to avail half a billion dollars to 18 commercial banks in Ethiopia through its Afreximbank Trade Facilitation (AfTRAF) programme. The programme aims to increase and diversify trade in Africa as well boost confidence among trade partners. The Bank had previously been working with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) in operating the AfTRAF programme in the country, and is planning to onboard 10 private commercial banks by the end of this year. "It'll ease the recurring forex shortage and is instrumental to boost intra-Africa trade," said Yinager Dessie, governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), during a discussion held at the Radisson Blu last week. The banks will receive the credit from the multinational financier based on a directive drafted by the central bank to govern foreign currency intermediation between the banks. Drafted a year ago, the directive allows commercial banks to borrow foreign currency from international financial institutions.
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