About AfTIAS

AfTIAS 1.0 Program is a multi-donor, multi-country and multi-agency program, aiming to “foster Arab trade through enhancing enterprise competitiveness and facilitating trade”. -AfTIAS Phase 1 (2014-2018) had a US$ 10.5 million budget, including in-kind contributions by the ITFC estimated at about US$ 5 million. It was supported by seven donors and five UN agencies and four other executing institutions contributed to implementing a total of 28 projects in 19 countries.
Based on this decision, the design for AfTIAS 2.0 Program was undertaken from July 2019 to February 2020 and then updated in March 2020 to take into account the new requirements arising from the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the economies of the region. - The design of AfTIAS 2.0 takes into account the key lessons learnt identified in the evaluation of the AfTIAS 1.0 , in particular, firstly, the need for a strong consultative process during the design phase, the need for a clear theory of change with measurable indicators of success to be developed during the design process.

Message from the Chairman of the Board

Welcome to the AfTIAS website and thank you for your interest in this Program.

The focus of the first phase of the Aid-for-Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS) Program, conducted between 2014-2018 by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), on behalf of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, was to bolster trade in the Arab region, where intra trade between Arab states is one of the lowest levels in the world today.

This first phase was concluded with a successful record of 28 projects implemented in 19 countries, in collaboration with five UN agencies and four other international institutions.

In 2018, ITFC commissioned an independent evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the program and to draw lessons learned from its implementation. Subsequently, the Arab Economic Summit, held in Beirut in January 2019, mandated ITFC to prepare and launch the second phase of AfTIAS, in cooperation with the League of Arab States (LAS) and all Arab countries.

In pursuance of this decision, the AfTIAS 2.0 Program was designed between July 2019 and February 2020. It was then updated in April 2020 to accommodate new factors arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economies of the region.

Henceforth, AfTIAS 2.0 was designed to be a five-years program with the main objective to “enhance the environment for international trade in the Arab region by making it more efficient and inclusive, thereby creating opportunities for employment and contributing to sustainable development”.

While the COVID-19 pandemic had delayed the launch of the Program, ITFC led a communication and resource mobilization campaign that attracted the interest of both donor and beneficiary countries in the region. In this context, ITFC organized the first meeting of the AfTIAS 2.0 Program Board in Jeddah at the end of October 2021. Participants expressed sincere gratitude to the donors who showed high interest in supporting trade infrastructure in the Arab region and contributed financially to AfTIAS 2.0. The donors thus far are the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD), IsDB, ITFC and the Trade Development Fund (TDFD) managed by ITFC.

AfTIAS 2.0 is a program-based global partnership involving Arab countries, donors, regional and international organizations seeking to support Arab states to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them mitigate obstacles to trade. This way, the program works towards a wider goal of promoting economic growth and sustainable development. The continuous support of its partners is needed for its successful implementation.

Warm regards.

Chairman of AfTIAS Program Board
Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol Chief Executive Officer, ITFC
Chairman of AfTIAS Program Board

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