ATI attracts Japan’s export credit agency as latest shareholder

13 Jun 2023
Financial Nigeria


ATI expects to support many more Japanese manufacturers, traders, exporters, and financial institutions seeking for business opportunities and market access across Africa.

ATI CEO Manuel Moses

Japan’s export credit agency, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), is the newest shareholder of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) having provided $14.8 million capital injection into the pan-African institution.

In a statement sent to Financial Nigeria on Tuesday, ATI said this equity investment reinforces the long-standing and ever-growing cooperation between Africa and Japan under the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

“I sincerely congratulate NEXI for becoming the newest institutional shareholder of ATI,” said ATI Chief Executive Officer Manuel Moses. “In recent years, ATI and NEXI have held a strong working relationship towards promoting trade and investment between Japan and Africa under the auspices of TICAD and I am happy that our strategic collaboration has culminated into NEXI’s equity investment in ATI as shareholder.”

The CEO expressed confidence that as Japan expands its Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and footprint into Africa, its membership in ATI will not only improve the institution’s capacity to support trade and investment across the continent, but will also attract more Japanese investors seeking for business opportunities in Africa’s population of over 1.2 billion people in the single market, under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“As a member of ATI from this point on, NEXI will continue to work closely with ATI to encourage more Japanese companies to make international trade and investments in Africa,” said Atsuo Kuroda, Chairman and CEO of NEXI.

During the TICAD7 Summit hosted in Japan in 2019, the two organisations announced the establishment of a “Japan Desk” in ATI’s Nairobi office to support African developmental and commercial projects so that Japanese companies can obtain easy access to reliable risk mitigation solutions provided by ATI. To date, the desk has promoted support to both Japanese and African business with an active gross exposure valued at $1.1 billion in the information & communication, finance and insurance, and construction in Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

The Japan desk initiative recently supported a strategic development project: a 10-year FDI risk insurance cover provided by ATI to Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation on its investment in a new telecommunication company in Ethiopia – Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Plc (STE) in which NEXI provided reinsurance support to ATI. The project is one of the single largest Japanese FDIs in the continent and Ethiopia specifically.

In recent years, ATI has provided insurance policies to protect some of Japan’s private sector against the risk of non-payment on transactions valued at $4.9 billion. ATI said some of this financing has helped African countries to reprofile short-term and unaffordable foreign and local debts into longer tenures and more affordable debt servicing for African governments.

With the completion of membership, ATI expects to support many more Japanese manufacturers, traders, exporters, and financial institutions seeking for business opportunities and market access across Africa.

ATI was founded in 2001 by African countries to cover trade and investment risks of companies doing business in Africa. ATI predominantly provides political risk, credit insurance and, surety insurance and has supported $78 billion worth of investments and trade into Africa.

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