May 16, 2012 (NAIROBI) – South Sudan, has joined the membership of the African Trade Insurance (ATI) agency which insures investment and political risks in the continent.
- South Sudan delegation at the ATI conference in Nairobi (ST)
Established in 2001 the billion-dollar multilateral financial institution provides export credit insurance, political risk insurance, investment insurance and other financial products to help reduce the business risks and costs of doing business in Africa.
ATI has membership of more than ten African countries including Kenya, which chairs it as well as international and regional financial institutions such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank and major companies in the private sector.
In 2011 alone, ATI was able to facilitate a 188 percent increase in trade and investment into Africa valued at over US$3.5 billion dollars, according to its annual report, with Kenya and Tanzania for instance, each received over US$1 billion dollars worth of trade and investment in vital projects such as energy, roads and water sectors.
In its 12th General Meeting on Wednesday in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, ATI passed a resolution unanimously accepting the membership of South Sudan, in response to the application submitted to the institution in February this year.
The body provides sovereign guarantees to investors and removes the fear of business risks. In cases of political risks, it protects exporters, importers and investors from risks such as expropriation of investment, license revocation, forced abandonment, currency restriction, embargo or losses resulting from war or civil disturbance.
It also provides insurance protection against credit risks, political violence, terrorism and sabotage.
In his statement during the opening of the general meeting in Nairobi on Wednesday, the vice president of South Sudan, Riek Machar, stressed the importance of the organisation in the effort to attract investors in Africa.
He explained that his country has huge potential for investment in the areas of agriculture, minerals, oil, wildlife and housing among others and commended ATI for accepting South Sudan into the organisation.
Machar was welcomed to the meeting by the vice president of Kenya, Kalonzo Musyoka, accompanied by the minister of commerce, industry and investment, Garang Diing and the deputy minister of finance and economic planning, Marial Awou.
The conference was attended by relevant ministers from all the member countries in Africa. During the meeting the Ethiopian government’s representative who sat as an observer expressed his country’s interest in applying for membership.