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Covid-19 : Togo becomes 18th African country shareholder in African Trade Insurance Agency.

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©Togo24 – (Kpalimé, April 24 2020) – African countries fast-tracking membership to African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) in response to expected trade and investment insurance capacity impact from Coronavirus (Covid)-19.

  • Togo becomes 18th African country to join ATI, with a shareholding of US$12.5 million, through a concessional loan by the European Investment Bank.
  • Membership in ATI provides African countries with additional trade and investment insurance capacity and improves risk rating for sovereign debts.
  • Adequate insurance capacity critical component to cushioning against negative economic impacts of COVID-19.

The Government of Togo announced completion of the country’s membership in the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), becoming the 18th African sovereign shareholder.

Togo’s membership, backed by the European Investment Bank, reflects a trend that has seen a record number of West African countries join Africa’s multilateral guarantee agency with Ghana, Niger and Nigeria all completing membership in the last nine months. This trend is expected to continue as countries seek support to ensure investment and trade flows on the continent.

« As we ready ourselves to manage the economic fall-out from the Corona virus, African governments are focused on mitigating the short and long-term impacts. Insurance capacity is an important aspect of our ability to rebuild and to ensure that critical projects receive the funding and guarantee support they require. We see membership in ATI as a necessary component in our ability to shore up the economy and to weather this storm,» said Sani Yaya, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Togo.

« The membership of Togo pushes ATI one step closer to achieving full pan-African membership from countries from coast to coast. The COVID-19 crisis increases the relevance of African development finance institutions such as ATI. As the world struggles to get a handle on this fast moving pandemic, the combined resources of African institutions will be needed to effectively counter this newest threat to Africa’s development »,  said John Lentaigne, Acting CEO of the African Trade Insurance Agency

In tandem with the country finalising its shareholding, ATI backed Togo’s first access to international financial markets, with the country obtaining a quasi-concessional 10-year loan to reprofile and refinance a portion of its short-term and more expensive public debt. Togo was able to use ATI’s credit wrap to package the debt, helping the country achieve a borrowing rate in the low single digits.

As African countries begin to build buffers against the likely negative economic fall out from COVID-19, investment insurance capacity is seen as a critical part of the financial support that will be needed to shore up the economies of many African countries.

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