Burking Faso proposes establishing joint Russia-Africa bank to promote trade

Burking Faso proposes establishing joint Russia-Africa bank to promote trade

Africa should aim at creating a joint bank with Russia to facilitate financial transactions between both sides and promote trade, according to one of Burkina Faso’s leading political figures.

“I think that when it comes to strengthening cooperation with Russia in key areas of the economy, it is very important that we explore the possibility of creating a joint bank between Russia and Africa with a branch in Burkina Faso,” Ousmane Bougouma, the Speaker of the Transitional Legislative Assembly of Burkina Faso, said lately.

The establishment of a joint financial institution will pave the way for broader cooperation between Russia and the West African country that is also a member of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Bougouma said, adding that it would be “useful” for mutual trade and investment.

In January, Burkina Faso’s Prime Minister Apollinaire Joachim Kyelem de Tambela proposed setting up a joint committee to boost trade and economic relations with Moscow. Earlier this week, the First Deputy Chairman of Russian State Duma, Aleksandr Zhukov, said that Africa was “a rapidly developing region with great prospects,” adding that Russia is currently “actively working” to expand cooperation with countries in the continent.

Burkina Faso’s proposal aims at creating a pan-African policy and trade bank, not a bilateral Burkina Faso-Russia bank. This is seen as a logical step as Africa is becoming more centralized, with the AfCFTA agreement adding value to investors as it has eliminated intra-African tariffs. However, experts point out that what is missing is a viable pan-African trading bank, as trade at present tends to be arranged via regional national banks. The way ahead with the Burkina Faso proposal for a pan-African bank will probably be up for discussion with China and other related BRICS+, Eurasian and Middle-Eastern partners, as well as India.


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