The Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) has organized today a workshop on the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, through the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), under the patronage of HE Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of IsDB Group.

Dr. Hajjar stressed that the Islamic Development Bank "has always been providing practical solutions to help member countries (MCs) to implement their national transformation programs, by focusing on global value chains." He added that the Bank has formed a technical team to identify sectors of comparative advantages in member countries for further action. He added: “these projects require the development of platforms and programs”, noting that the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program is one of the most important tools for the development of value chains in members countries.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), has reviewed the future perspectives of the AATB Program, and the most important features of the work plan for the year 2019. Eng. Sonbol calls for enhancing interest of Africa for its great potentialities and resources which made the continent a global investment destination, noting that African economies are among the fastest growing ones in the world. He said that there are some economic and trade issues that require the construction of full infrastructure. Eng. Sonbol stressed the need to provide platforms for enhancing finance and capacity building through multiple windows, building successful partnerships that provide opportunities for the two continents, linking businessmen in both regions and creating an environment of cooperation by focusing on value chains in many industries related to agriculture, along with the pharmaceutical and medical sectors, insurance, storage, logistics, digital technology, human and institutional capacity development.

Eng. Sonbol confirms that the AATB Program is in line with the President’s five-year program, noting that an operational plan has been prepared for the program in consultation with key partners to strengthen existing and new partnerships through different forms and levels. The workshop concluded by confirming the support of IsDB Group for the program and the effective contribution of the IsDB Group, as well as the call to strengthen the role and effectiveness of the steering committee of the AATB Program and to highlight the efforts of the Islamic Development Bank in promoting the program.