A new Working Group of Berne Union members has been set up for 2021 with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Focusing on the region is one of the pillars of the current presidential platform and will hopefully generate much interest from the membership.
The Working Group will be guided by the objectives adopted by the Management Committee, while its scope will be driven by both African Members’ interests, as well as the Africa-related interests of non- African institutions. The Working Group will report to the MC and will provide regular feedback to the wider Membership about the broader work of the initiative.
"Africa has huge growth potential and African Members are very important to the Berne Union. It is encouraging to see how African Members are teaming up to share their expertise in the Continent for the benefit of the entire Berne Union community, thus further enhancing trade within the African region"
Michal Ron, President of the Berne Union
The main goal of the Sub-Saharan Africa Working Group is to increase general interest in the continent, including communicating challenges and opportunities as well as risk mitigators
- Increase collaboration, information gathering and knowledge sharing between the Berne Union members operating in Africa
- Regularly communicate the macro-economic situation including GDP forecasts, general trends, with a special focus on sustainability
- Address the access to and lack of readily available balance sheet level information of local companies including the use of third-party information, information sharing and validation among BU members
- Coordinate with and learn from BU private members and re-insurers on how to increase the volume of operations in the region
- Focus on impediments faced by the SME segment including domestic finance challenges for local exporters
- Review how the pandemic has affected the region and identify good investment opportunities
The main deliverables will be two designated webinars for all interested Berne Union members, on April 15th and later in the year
In addition, the Group is looking to contribute via:
- Relevant articles to the Bulletin, including a special Africa focused Bulletin in July
- Ad hoc sessions at regular Berne Union general meetings
- Ad hoc deal announcements, thought pieces, general library of information on BU website
- Use of outside organisations and speakers for content delivery
The diversity of the region and the enormous potential in terms of future growth allow for a deep investigation as to what it means to do business in Sub-Saharan Africa today. It is notable that many countries in the regions are both exporters and recipients of export credit.
“Africa has shown considerable resilience in weathering past crises, from the 2008 global financial crisis to the commodity price collapse of 2014- 2016. The present pandemic provides the continent with another opportunity to further enhance its ability to navigate shocks, build strong health systems and accumulate fiscal buffers to meet future challenges.” For the full leader by Tusekile Kibonde and Kefa Muga, ATI, please click on the tab
BUlletin April 2021
Article by Tusekile Kibonde and Kefa Muga, ATI
The Working Group consists of the Berne Union Members based and operating in Africa and welcomes contributions from the wider membership with experience in doing business in Africa
Chair of the Working Group
"We welcome this great initiative fostered by the Berne Union. ATI together with other African ECAs are very keen to share our experiences of doing business and investing in the Sub-Saharan region. The platform aims to enhance Berne Union Members' businesses in the region of which Africa stands to benefit overall"
Tusekile Kibonde, Chair of the Working Group
The current team includes representatives from BECI, ECGC Zimbabwe, ECIC SA, ICIEC, MIGA, together with BU Secretariat and Management Committee representatives.
Topics of Interest
The agenda of webinars and content of articles are driven by Member interest and market development. The first webinar will be focused on financing SMEs. The second main webinar will focus on sovereigns, private sector lenders, and post pandemic landscape. Themes of focus will vary and will be driven by both African Members’ interests, as well as the Africa-related interests of non-African institutions.
Potentials and barriers for SME Financing in Sub-Saharan Africa webinar will address wider challenges in the region and will be held on:
Berne Union members and guest speakers from AGF and IFC will be sharing their experiences supporting private companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially SMEs. This will include the challenges, opportunities, risk mitigants and any available instruments to assist financiers, private insurers and ECAs in supporting SMEs in the region.
The webinar, as well as additional materials, will address topics such as access to information, working with (financial) intermediaries, differences in financing structures, more creative innovative structures along with emerging trends such as female-owned businesses, youth employment, using local currency financing tools.
If you are interested in contributing to this initiative, or should you have any question about the Working Group, please reach out to Eve Hall, Berne Union Secretariat, at email@example.com
To contact Ms Tusekile Kibonde, ATI, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact Ms Sheila Ongas, ATI, please email email@example.com