Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol: We provided $7 billion to finance the food and agricultural sector.. That is why they called us “Cotton Bank for Africa”
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, in cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), organized a discussion session on cotton traceability and sustainability in Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa, at the Islamic Development Bank Group’s pavilion within the activities of the COP27 Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh.
The session was attended by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, Ayman Kassem, Director of the Trade Development Division at the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, Dalia Tadros, Head of Operations Sector at the Industrial Development Group, and Sarah Barless, Director of Programs, Regional Office at Cairo for “UNIDO” and Babajid Sodibo, Director of the African Continental Free Trade Area at the African Export-Import Bank.
Engineer Hani Salem Sonbol said: “An essential part of the ITFC’s strategy is to align financing efforts with the national development strategies of member countries, including in the field of agriculture, which plays a key role in achieving regional and global integration, especially in Africa.”
He emphasized that since the establishment of the ITFC, it has made available about $7 billion to finance the food and agricultural sector, and the African cotton sector has been a major focus of the ITFC, particularly in all the major producing countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali.
“We are pleased to provide over $1.4 billion in financing to the cotton sector in these countries, and our trade finance interventions have proven to be a huge relief to farmers in terms of ensuring a fast and efficient method of transactions while handling post-harvest cotton,” he added.
He pointed out the importance of tracing cotton to link producers with global value chains, because after the cotton export, the efforts of farmers are still unknown as the origin of the cotton is rarely known, explaining that the traceability means that the company has the ability to trace the origin of the cotton.
He stated that as a result of the long involvement in the cotton sector in Africa, ITFC has entered into a partnership with UNIDO through the “Better Cotton” initiative and through this we are taking advantage of the supply chain which helps to ensure that all partners comply with regulatory requirements and facilitate linking cotton with quality The fibers along with helping brands and retailers achieve more consistent quality and ensure that their products are sourced from Egyptian cotton producers that follow national and regulatory agricultural practices, and farmers’ capacity to adopt more sustainable practices and promote decent work is being built to facilitate producers’ involvement in well-regulated international value chains. growing.