Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program February 22-23, 2017 in Morocco

Press Release ( - Feb 08, 2017 - in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Minister-Delegate for Industry, Trade, Investment, and Digital Economy, in charge of Morocco’s Foreign Trade.

This Program reflects the significant role of trade as a lever of sustainable economic growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation, it is necessary to further capitalise on the existing – but still untapped – trade potential between Arab and Sub-Saharan African countries. The Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program is designed to leverage new commercial partnerships, strengthen existing ones, and increase trade flows between the two regions; in addition, the Program shall enhance trade and investment through cooperation among trade and investment support institutions.

Over a two-days period, the Forum will be inaugurated by H.E. Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Trade Investment & Digital Economy and H.E Dr. Bandar M.H Hajjar, President IDB Group and will bring together high-level representatives from the Arab and Sub-Saharan countries members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), namely: Trade Ministers, Directors of Trade Promotion Institutions, and Chairpersons of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in addition to International Financial Institutions and banks.

On this occasion, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFCstated that: “This Forum is a platform to showcase the opportunities and the trade potential between the Arab and African countries. Trade Solutions opportunities including finance, logistical platforms, trade and credit insurance and infrastructure development will be presented during this important event, and will shape up the road map for the areas of development in both regions for the operation plan in the AATB program for the next three years.”

Choosing Morocco to launch this program, in Rabat, is a reflection of the Kingdom’s ability to establish partnerships with Sub-Saharan African countries. Morocco spares no efforts to support initiatives aimed at the economic and social development in  African countries.

Besides launching the AATB Program, the forum will bring together economic actors in the region to examine cooperation prospects and possibilities of integration between them. The forum proceedings will be as follows: a ministerial session; two sessions around Arab-African economic partnership; the signing of three MoUs, workshops, and a seminar on business opportunities for African projects, financed by the Islamic Development Bank.

For full details visit:

The Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program (AATB)

The Arab-Africa Trade Bridges was created upon a proposal of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) during the 7th meeting of the Coordination Group for the Reinforcement and Promotion of Cooperation in the Field of Foreign Trade and Export Credit Guarantee. Besides the ITFC, the group is composed of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investments and Export Credits (ICIEC), the Arab Trade Finance Program (ATFP), the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), and the Arab Investment & Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (Dhaman).

This program is the first initiative bringing together the biggest finance and trade institutions in the Arab and African regions – all OIC members. The goal of the program is to promote Arab-African trade relations through different actions aiming to bring together the economic players of the region.


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