ICC Academy, AfDB, ITFC ink partnership to boost trade finance capacities, especially for women in Africa

Singapore, 10 Jan 2019: The educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)— the ICC Academy—is set to provide online trade finance training to financial institutions throughout Africa thanks to a newly launched Trade Finance E-Learning Programme from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

Through the ICC Academy’s Global Trade Certification (GTC)—an introductory-level trade finance programme that includes nine online e-courses— 500 staff members in 200 AfDB and ITFC partner banks across 35 African countries will gain the professional expertise needed to sell, deliver and process global trade finance solutions. The initial phase will last three-years and first priority will be given to women employees.

Commenting on the partnership, ICC Academy General Manager Daniel Kok said: “According to ICC’s recent Global Survey on Trade Finance, nearly three quarters of banks believe global trade finance will improve over the next year, with Africa and the Asia-Pacific having the most positive outlook. That said, we look forward to working with AfDB and ITFC to develop specific knowledge and professional capacities in the region, as well as empower practitioners with the opportunity to improve their skills while staying up-to-date with the latest policies and practices.”

The partnership has two main objectives. The first is to strengthen the trade finance competencies of local partner banks in order to offer more competitive services to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and local businesses engaged in international trade. The second is to introduce more sophisticated trade finance products in line with client needs, as well as a market that is constantly evolving.

AfDB Trade Finance Division Manager Yaw Kuffour said: “We are pleased to enter into this debut arrangement with the ICC Academy to provide worldwide-accredited trade finance training to domestic banks within Africa. The ever-changing trade finance landscape, along with tough and complex new international regulations, underscores the need for enhanced staff capacity within the banking sector on the continent.

The programme will complement AfDB’s ongoing efforts to build the capacity of domestic banks and equip them to serve the trade finance needs of the continent. In this process, we will be giving priority to our women employees by providing them with the right skill set and getting them future-ready.” added Mr Kuffour.

The AfDB-ITFC Trade Finance Programme aims to increase the volume of lending and contribute to reducing the trade finance gap, which is estimated at US$1.5 trillion with almost US$120 billion in Africa.

ITFC’s Trade and Business Development Department General Manager, Nasser M. Al-Thekair, said: “The ICC Academy’s online programme provides unparalleled flexibility to our partner banks to learn at their own pace. The skills acquired will contribute to reducing operational risks inherent in trade finance, accessing untapped markets and diversifying the product portfolios. It will also help improve the perception that global banks have about the capacity of local African banks in managing trade finance transactions.

This agreement builds on a track-record of successful cooperation that the ICC Academy has within the region between companies and institutions such as DB Schenker Logistics—a German logistics leader—and ABSA Bank—a subsidiary of the Barclays Africa Group.

For more information, contact:
Priyanka Satapathy
Communications and Events Manager