“Africa’s problems are for Africans to solve,” Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), told participants at the start of the 29th Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2022) in Cairo.
In an opening statement at the St. Regis Alamsa Convention Centre in Egypt’s New Administration Capital, Prof. Oramah said that Afreximbank had intervened to help the continent implement African solutions during challenging times, some with the support of other development partners and African institutions.
He asserted that, with the creation of the African Vaccine Trust (AVAT), which enabled African Union (AU) member states to procure 400 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic through the AU’s Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), the notion that Africa cannot rise again had been debunked.
“We stand on the pedestal of the work done here to say that we can if we dare,” said President Oramah.
He complimented the resilience of the continent during the challenging times brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic, saying that positive stories emanating from particular countries like Egypt, which had invested over 62 billion US Dollars over the past six years in massive infrastructural transformation, were a manifestation of the continent’s ability to achieve whatever it desired for its people.
“Notwithstanding the increased frequency of crises, we must not lose sight of the fundamental challenges that Africa must resolve. We can no longer accept that after 60 years of independence, Africa remains financially and economically fragmented. We can no longer continue to espouse the benefits of an integrated continent but do little to achieve it,” said Prof. Oramah.
On the ongoing Ukraine crisis, Prof. Oramah appreciated the new challenges posed to Africa, including difficulties in accessing grains, fertilisers and petroleum products, and noted that Afreximbank had stepped in with the 4 billion US dollar Ukraine Crisis Adjustment Trade Finance Programme for Africa (UKAFPA) to help countries to contain the short-term impacts of the crisis.
He appealed for increased commitment to the Bank by its shareholders, saying that a stronger Afreximbank could be one of the solid pillars on which Africa’s development could be built.
Prof. Oramah announced that, by 2021, Afreximbank, through its Intra-African Trade Division, had disbursed about 20 billion US dollars in support of intra-African trade and investments, with plans to disburse a further 40 billion US dollars during the next five years. That had raised the intra-African trade share of the Bank’s portfolio from 3% in 2016 to about 27% in 2021 and had enabled African contractors to bid for African infrastructure-related projects.
AAM2022, which runs through Saturday 18 June 2022, is being held under the theme ‘Realizing the AfCFTA Potential in the Post-Covid-19 Era by Leveraging the Power of the Youth’.
Sessions will include the meetings of the Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa and the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Bank, complemented by a full programme of seminars and plenaries featuring insights from senior government ministers, senior executives of international and continental organisations and authorities, captains of industry, and leading economists, amongst others.
The meetings are being attended by business and political leaders, banking industry professionals, trade and trade finance practitioners and other parties involved in economic development from across Africa and beyond. The Meetings have been ranked among the most important gatherings of economic decision makers in Africa.
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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2021, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at about US$25 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$51 billion between 2016 and 2021. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.
Amadou Labba Sall, email@example.com