ICIEC CEO Oussama Kaissi Focuses on Africa

The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) has Africa in its crosshairs and places the emerging continent at the center of its growth strategy.

Since 2015, ICIEC has supported transactions worth USD 32.3 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa. The deals cover #ClimateChange, #FoodSecurity, #HealthSecurity, Infrastructure and Reinsurance.

ICIEC effectively acts as the export credit agency in many African countries. Over a period of 28 years since 1994, ICIEC has insured USD 106.3 billion of business deals with USD 85.7 billion earmarked to support exports and imports while USD 21 billion went to facilitate #FDI across its 49 member states. In 2021 alone, ICIEC insured nearly USD 10 billion which breaks down into USD 7.7 billion related to trade financing and USD 2.3 for FDI.

Eager to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by the #AfCFTA, ICIEC CEO Mr Oussama Kaissi is busy travelling around the continent to accompany the rise of Africa. In January 2023, he addressed the Feed Africa Summit: Food Sovereignty and Resilience Forum organised by the AfDB under the patronage of President Macky Sall in Dakar, Senegal. He also attended the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) event in Tunis, where he signed an MOU with Afrexim Bank.

“Our priorities are upscaling operations by widening access to trade finance supported by credit insurance; and supporting projects in strategic sectors with high developmental impact in member countries.”

ICIEC CEO Oussama Kaissi

Mr Kaissi revealed that ICIEC is planning to expand its footprint in Africa. The opening of an office in Cairo is a latest concrete reflection of this #AfricaStrategy. It is worth noting that Egypt is a major beneficiary of ICIEC, having accumulated nearly USD 8 billion in financing up to date.

The ICIEC is well aware of the mammoth task in rebranding the image of Africa and does its part by providing financing instruments to mitigate risks to promote trade and investment for the socio-economic development of the continent.

“Private sector development and engagement is one of the main pillars of our strategy. This requires credit enhancement that insurers such as ICIEC are well positioned to do through their sustainability policies. Embedding commercial opportunities and helping corporates and banks make a material difference to support positive development outcomes is something that ICIEC’s risk mitigation tools can facilitate.”

ICIEC CEO Oussama Kaissi

Moreover, under the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, the Africa Co-Guarantee Platform is being set up in partnership with Afrexim Bank and Africa Finance Corporation. ICIEC is also spearheading the establishment of the Arab-Africa Guarantee Fund (AAGF) which is expected to become operational in 3Q23. The objective of the AAGF is to provide scalable structure that aims at mobilizing financial resources and risk mitigation capacity to support trade and investment in Arab and African countries.

Actually, the AAGF is made up of three sub-funds: the Arab-Africa Green Facility, the Arab-Africa Food Security Facility and the Arab-Africa Health Facility with each a razor focus on a specific priority sector. To date, ICIEC has closed USD 5.6 billion of deals under the AATB Program.

As examples of recent deals, CIEC has underwritten EUR 24 million for the import of commodities by Tunisia, USD 225 million for import of foodstuffs by Egypt and USD 63 million as reinsurance for Afrexim Bank to cover LC for import of essential commodities for Senegal and Nigeria.

Additionally, ICIEC is involved in the initiative of Islamic Development Group (IsDB) which provides USD 10.5 billion under the Food Security Response Program (FSRP) to alleviate the pressures brought about by the Global Food Crisis and to foster Food Resilience in the face of Climate Change. In Uganda, ICIEC has committed USD 500 million in political risk insurance and credit insurance for a #FoodSecurity project.

In the realm of Climate Change, ICIEC has come up with its Sukuk Insurance Policy (SIP) whose maiden deal is to underwrite a #GreenTransition project in Sharjah, UAE.

The ICIEC has set itself the mission to upscale the activities in the identified priority sectors in Africa by “promoting intra-member trade and investment through the provision of unique de-risking solutions, credit enhancement, guarantees and reinsurance.”