Kutoane Kutoane, CEO The Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa
What is the primary role of The Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa? The key mandate of the ECIC is to facilitate cross-border investments and the export of capital goods and related services by South African business entities. It achieves this by providing medium to long-term insurance products. The risks covered may relate to events of a political and or commercial nature. How important is the utilisation of natural resources for the growth and development of African countries? Natural resources have been the bedrock of the continent’s economy and continue to represent a significant development opportunity for her people. Statistics shows that natural resources account for more than 77 percent of total exports and about 42 percent of government revenues.
To bring a sustainable growth and development path, the extraction of the resources should be buttressed by a mineral transformation process on the continent. To achieve such a transformation, Africa will need to overcome four major obstacles: access to capital markets, transfusion of the technological know-how, overcoming infrastructure hurdles and lack of political will. How is ECIC encouraging investments in the natural resources sector in the region? Since inception, ECIC has played a remarkable role in facilitating and supporting the construction and expansion of projects on the continent in different sectors and at different levels. In agriculture, the ECIC’s support extended from simple plantation to agro-processing whereas in mining ECIC helped ease the funding of extractive activities to the processing plants. The ECIC’s current mining projects portfolio is approximately 56 percent of its total portfolio. Agriculture and agribusiness account for 6.6 percent.
Illustrative examples include the sugar can plantation in Mozambique, ethanol plant in Sierra Leone, Cooper mining and processing in the DRC and Zambia, to name a few. How important is the Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation between ECIC and the Export Credit Insurance Agencies of BRICS countries? ECIC has recently adopted a comprehensive plan of action along with the BRICS partner ECAs aimed at actualising the cooperation programme for mutual benefits as envisioned in the MOU signed in 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil. To this end ECIC will actively pursue re-insurance and co-insurance opportunities with the BRICS ECAs especially across sub-Saharan Africa.
Photo: ECIC?
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