Guinea Bissau has become the 37th country to join the African Export-Import bank (Afreximbank) as a Participating State, following the signing of the Bank’s Establishment Agreement by the Government, the Bank has announced in Cairo
The instrument of accession, deposited at the Afreximbank Headquarters on 13 February 2015, showed that Geraldo Joao Martins, Minister of Economy and Finance of Guinea Bissau, performed the official signing of the Establishment Agreement in Bissau on 3 February 2015.
With the signature by Guinea Bissau, the West African country has become the second Lusophone member of Afreximbank, after Angola, which joined in January 1994.
The two Congos were the last countries to become members of the Bank, with the Republic of Congo joining on 31 July 2013 and Democratic Republic of Congo on 25 April 2014.
The other member states of the Bank include Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho and Liberia.
The remaining participating states are Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Mozambique, Togo and South Africa have shareholding in the Bank but have not completed all the formalities to become full participating states.
The Bank’s Establishment Agreement, signed by participating states and multilaterals, gives the Bank the status of an international organization registered with the United Nations and sets out the purpose and functions, legal status, scope of membership, operations as well as certain immunities, exemptions, privileges, facilities and concessions enjoyed by the Bank.
The Charter, signed by all shareholders, governs the corporate structure and operations of the Bank.
Currently, the Bank has four classes of shareholders broken into classes A, B, C and D. Class A is made up of governments, central banks, and regional and sub-regional institutions from Africa while Class B consists of African commercial banks, insurance companies, and private and public companies. Class C covers international and non-African financial institutions, economic organizations, and public investors, while Class D, created in December 2012, is made up of shares that can be allotted to any investor, African or non-African.
Manal Mounir Hendy