African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), an African owned international financial institution is targeting over $300 million (Rwf169.7 trillion) in the next year, according to the company’s Underwriter, Cecilia B. Rague-Kaisha.
Rague-Kaisha, said the insurance company is the only multilateral trade credit and political risk insurer in Africa. Rwanda is one of 14 African member countries with several other countries expected to join in 2010.
“We have been operating in Rwanda for three years now and we have already closed transaction worth $23 million (Rwf13 billion) and currently we have over $300 million worth of transactions in the pipeline and two will be done in the next two weeks” she added.
Rague-Kaisha explained that the multilateral agency aims at promoting trade, investments in the member states and any body importing to the member states.
She explained that to become a member of ATI, a country has to pay a minimum amount of $7.5 million (Rwf4.2 billion) as membership fee.
“Our products are unique because they target companies, investors, contractors and other business interests that are essential to growing a country’s economy.”
“Rwandan companies weren’t getting paid by their foreign buyers or from others who couldn’t secure financing from banks. Our job now is to let Rwanda companies know that ATI can provide solutions to these and many other risks”. Rague- Kaisha explained.
She added that as a result of Rwanda’s fast growing economy, the insurance company is going to open up an office in Rwanda next year. The office will provide greater access to the local market to trade credit and political risk insurance products.
“We expect to see more of the companies want to insure with us because of the growing economy and we are targeting more of the private sector in all our countries of operation,” she explained.
ATI founded in 2001 by African States, provides Political Risk Insurance Products to support African investments and trade.
It has supported $1.8 billion in trade and investments across Africa in the sectors of telecoms, manufacturing, agribusiness, education, export, services, hotels, mining and residential housing.
It is the second highest rated institution in Africa, with the 2009 renewal of its Long Term ‘A Stable’ rating for Financial Strength and Counterparty Credit by Standard & Poor’s.