ON the side lines of the Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD7), the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI ) signed MoUs with Japan’s three largest banks and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Japan’s export credit agency.
ATI and NEXI also announced the launch of a Japan Desk to be based in ATI’s Nairobi headquarters to provide tailored risk-mitigation support to Japanese companies and investors. ATI has a current pipeline of more than $1bn worth of transactions from Japanese banks.
The Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD7) which concludes today, has grown into one of the largest Africa-focused international events, providing a platform for billions worth partnerships and transactions to be sealed. The two institutions committed to strengthening risk mitigation cover to entice more Japanese companies and investors to enter the African market. The Japan Desk will facilitate this process.
ATI also penned agreements in the form of MoUs with three of Japan’s leading banks – Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Mizuho Bank. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) signed an earlier MoU with ATI. The agreements signal to the world that Japan views Africa as a strategic investment destination, which will also provide an opportunity for Japanese companies and investors to more effectively capitalise on the current opportunities in the fastest growing continent in the world.
In the last three years, ATI has provided insurance to protect some of Japan’s largest lenders against the risk of sovereign default on transactions that have collectively brought close to $1bn to the continent. Some of this financing has helped countries to reprofile short-term, and often pricey local currency debt, into longer-term and more affordable structures.
The financing has also supported a wide range of priority sectors and, in the case of two ground-breaking capital markets transactions arranged by Japan’s largest bank, ATI-backed financing has facilitated the crowding-in of a new class of institutional investors to the continent.
With a strong pipeline of transactions valued at over $1bn along with these strengthened partnerships, ATI expects to support many more Japanese exporters and banks in deals across Africa in the coming years.
John Lentaigne, Acting CEO, African Trade Insurance Agency commented, ‘Our participation at TICAD7 has yielded great results. We’re excited about the prospect of providing greater levels of risk mitigation to Japanese companies and financiers, which we see as key to unlocking even more Japanese investments into Africa.’
Atsuo Kuroda, Chairman and CEO, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) added, ‘Establishing the co-operation framework between NEXI and ATI is one of the most fruitful outcome which we have achieved during TICAD7. We are very pleased to announce that “Japan Desk” will be set up in ATI, a reputable multilateral financial institution which has a great track record to support African projects so that Japanese companies can obtain easy access to the reliable risk mitigation solution provided by ATI. As I promised in the TICAD7 official side-event, NEXI will closely work with ATI to facilitate Japanese businesses in Africa.’