The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) is hosting an international workshop in Nairobi that will address investors’ concerns when setting up energy projects.
ATI was selected to host the specialist meeting – the first in sub-Saharan Africa by the Berne Union – global association of export credit and investment insurers. It is also the first time the association is holding a sector-specific specialist meeting focusing on the energy sector.
“As an African institution, we’re in a unique position. We’re gaining the recognition and confidence of global peers based on our strong footprint in Africa and our strong financials,” notes George Otieno, ATI’s CEO.
“Awards such as the recent one from GTR magazine for the best political risk and trade credit insurer in Africa, and an 8-year track record of A/Stable ratings from S&P is helping us attract investors and partners to vital sectors such as energy.”
Participants will discuss energy-related topics including available global financing; regulation, policy and governance issues; and risks perceptions related to utilities, off-takers, equity investors and banks.
Lack of access to reliable energy remains one of the main stumbling blocks to Africa’s development. This accounts for as much as 4% cut from annual per capita GDP growth rates. Increased investment in the sector could help unlock some of the projects currently on hold.
“But to attract investors, countries must also tackle their fear of some of the risks perceived to be linked to doing business in Africa which we seek to address as ATI,” Otieno noted.
Commenting on the conference, Kai Preugschat, Secretary General of the association said: “Berne Union is proud to support and jointly organize this first ever sector-focused specialist event.
For many Berne Union Members and stakeholders, holding this meeting in Africa reflects the many solutions available to address shortcomings in the energy sector – and also the growing importance of sustainable solutions for this asset class.”
The Berne Union has 81 member companies representing private and official export credit and investment insurance companies in the world.
In 1993, the Berne Union helped to establish its affiliated Prague Club to support new and maturing export credit agencies and insurers.
In 2015, members collectively insured US$1.9 trillion of exports and foreign direct investment and 10percent of international trade, while paying out US$6.2 billion to exporters and investors against losses due to buyer defaults in all regions of the world.
Global participants to the Nairobi meeting include , Atradius (The Netherlands), CESCE (Spain), COFACE (France), CREDENDO Group (Belgium), ECGE (Egypt), ECIC (South Africa), EGAP (Czech Republic), EKF (Denmark), Euler Hermes (Germany), FINNVERA (Finland) and GIEK (Norway).
Others are ICIEC (Saudi Arabia), JICA (Japan), MIGA, KfW (Germany), OeKB (Austria), OPIC (U.S.), SACE (Italy), SINOSURE (China), SLECIC (Sri Lanka),UKEF (UK) and US EXIMBANK (U.S.)