Afreximbank’s President Oramah wins Zik Prize in Leadership

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Prof. Benedict Oramah (right) being presented with the 2021/22 Zik Prize in Professional Leadership award by His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, Abisogun II, the 15th Oniru of Iruland, Nigeria

Cairo, 20 November 2023: – The President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Oramah, was yesterday in Lagos awarded the 2021/22 Zik Prize in Professional Leadership by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC).

In a citation, Prof. Pat Utomi, Head of the PPRAC Zik Prize Selection Committee, said that Prof. Oramah is being recognised for his remarkable piloting of Africa’s premier multilateral financial institution to deliver on its mandate of boosting economic expansion in Africa, by financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade and accelerating industrialisation.”

“A key promoter of the AfCFTA as Africa’s pathway to industrialisation, he championed the introduction of a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System that was adopted by the African Union as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. He has also led the onboarding of 500 of the continent’s 600 regulated commercial banks into its Afreximbank Trade Finance Facility, placing it in the vortex of the most extensive bank messaging network on the continent,” continued Prof. Utomi.

“The scale of the Bank’s intervention in support of African countries at times of global crisis is unprecedented,” he said, adding, “It introduced, in year 2020, the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility, with disbursed funds at more than US$7 billion, and, in year 2022, the Ukraine Crisis Adjustment Trade Financing Programme for Africa, a US$4 billion programme of credit facilities to manage the impacts of the Ukraine crisis on African economies and businesses”.

Speaking after receiving the award, Prof. Oramah said that he cherished the honour bestowed on him because he valued the principles, philosophy and values of Dr. Azikiwe who lived an extraordinarily exemplary life.

“Dr Azikiwe and his colleagues fought tirelessly, with courage, intellect, and determination for the independence and political emancipation of our continent,” said Prof. Oramah. “What they did was just the beginning of the journey. The true emancipation will occur when we attain economic independence. As a leader of one of the continent’s key institutions created to help deliver development, I’m mindful of the role that we play.”

Also honoured at the ceremony were Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema as winner of the Zik Prize in Political Leadership. Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Nigeria, who received the Zik Prize in Good Governance; Dr Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman of SIFAX Group, awarded the Zik Prize in Entrepreneurial Leadership; and Hajiya Aisha Atiku Baguda, who was honoured with the Zik Prize in Humanitarian Leadership.

Past recipients have included notable leaders like former late President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, former late President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, former OAU Secretary General Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former President Sam Nujoma of Namibia, Former late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

The Leadership Awards were instituted in 1995 in honour of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria, to recognise and encourage outstanding leadership on the African continent and in the African Diaspora. It did not hold in 2022 as a mark of respect to the passing of two members of the Advisory Board, Prince Emeka Obasi and Prof. George Obiozor.

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About Afreximbank:

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying 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. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2022, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$31 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.2 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$86 billion between 2016 and 2022. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”).

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