Cairo, 26 April 2017– Africans in the Diaspora should leverage on their skills and experience to create wealth on the continent by contributing to the growth of intra-African trade and to Africa’s industrialization, Dr. George Elombi, Executive Vice-President in charge of Governance, Legal and Corporate Services at the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has said.
Speaking during a panel discussion on intra-African trade at the London Business School’s Annual Africa Summit in London on 22 April, Dr. Elombi said that Afreximbank was implementing a strategy to move the continent toward diversification away from commodities and that the Bank was committed to working with the African Diaspora through its vast array of trade finance offerings.
He noted that, although Africa boasted close to 22 per cent of the world’s population, its share of global trade was only three per cent while its regional trade only stood at 15 per cent, comparing unfavorably to Europe at 68 per cent, Asia at 52 per cent, North America at 48 per cent and Latin America at 20 per cent.
Also speaking, Christopher Edordu, Chairman of Elixir Investment Partners and a former President of Afreximbank, said that increased access to market information within Africa would help shape perceptions and enlighten Africans on the tremendous cross-border trade opportunities that existed on the continent.
According to him, the private sector, the Diaspora, consumers, producers and all Africans need to believe in intra-African trade and to drive the agenda in order to trigger supportive infrastructural, political and regulatory support.
Jonathan Rosenthal, Africa Editor of the The Economist magazine, moderated the panel, which was held under the theme “Intra-African Trade: Manufacturing a Self-sufficient Africa”. The overall theme for the summit was “Made in Africa”.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Andrew Likierman, Dean of the London Business School, had said that the annual summit was the school’s demonstration of its commitment to making a difference on the African continent by getting involved and contributing positively to the socio-economic matters affecting it.
The Annual Africa Summit pulls together London Business School alumni, professionals living in the Diaspora and business leaders from Africa to network and exchange views on contemporary economic trends, business opportunities and development priorities for Africa.