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Africans urged to fight against weakening of its multilateral institutions - Prof. Oramah


President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict O. Oramah has urged Africans to fight against the weakening of its multilateral institutions.


He made these remarks while speaking at the 30th Anniversary Celebration and 30th Annual Meetings of shareholders of Afreximbank held in Accra on Monday.


Prof. Oramah said "Before I close, permit me to remind us that although we celebrate 30 years today, the journey to the next 30 years will require that we win the battle against those who are doing everything to weaken African multilateral institutions"


"We may say no to them and ensure we do not willing tools in destroying what Africa’s pioneer leaders toiled to build"


"Your Excellencies, a celebration of 30 years would not have been possible without the enduring foundation laid by many. Permit me, therefore, to pay special tribute to the shareholders, our Board and the pioneer President, Mr Christopher Edordu, and his successor Mr Jean Louis Ekra. Thank you all for making this possible"


Prof. Oramah also paid tribute late Dr Babacar Ndiaye for his vision, courage and hardwork of the architect of Afreximbank project, the late Dr Babacar Ndiaye.


"It is a day like this that we must remember the vision, courage and hardwork of the architect of Afreximbank project, the late Dr Babacar Ndiaye. May his soul rest in peace"


Prof. Oramah hinted that as Africa prepares to face the new world of opportunities, challenges, and threats over the next 30 years, it has to do so on a stronger footing of over 60 participating States whose aspirations are its responsibilities.


"We do so as a stronger institution that looks forward to another 30 years with enthusiasm. The Bank has remained financially strong. In the past 30 years, it has disbursed over 100 billion US dollars. Every African must be proud that a seed sown 30 years ago with less than 150 million US dollars in total assets and almost an equal amount of equity has blossomed into an institution with about 32 billion US dollars in total assets and guarantees and about 6 billion US dollars in Shareholders’ funds"


"An institution that posted just about 12 million US dollars in total revenues in 1995 returned over 1.5 billion in revenues in 2022. These results are indicative of opportunities in Africa; they prove without doubt that development work can be done profitably. Again, they validate the assumptions of the founding fathers of the Bank 30 years ago"


Explaining further, Prof. Oramah noted that it took the Bank 30 years to reach 30 billion in total assets and guarantee.


"I look ahead with confidence and declare that the Bank will double its size to 60 billion in less than 6 years. I make this projection with faith in your trust and confidence, and also because we commence the journey into the next 30 years on a platform of a "mother" that has birthed many off-springs, offering services from project preparation to market access services, operating in our new larger continent of Afri-Caribbean"


"Today, Your Excellencies, Honourable Prime Ministers, we formally unveil the Afreximbank Group, providing the platform for the emergence of a Trade and Project Finance Supermarket the founders of the Bank aspired for"


Prof. Oramah cited fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), an impact equity fund created to provide long term funding for export manufacturing, intra-Africa trade and value-added services; AfrexInsure, Afreximbank's insurance management subsidiary and the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), a payment infrastructure provider that promotes cross-border payments for goods and services in Africa's 42 currencies as part of Afreximbank’s subsidiaries and special initiatives.


"The Afreximbank's Customer Due Diligence Repository Platform, also called the MANSA Initiative, that is dealing with the challenges of compliance. Afreximbank's Project Preparation Fund (PPF) to deal with the funding constraints to the preparation of bankable strategic development projects. The Africa Credit Opportunity Fund (ACOF), a credit fund that supports trade growth in Africa through investing in credit instruments"


"African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) to provide world-class healthcare services across the continent, African Quality Assurance Centre (AQAC) to ensure that “made in Africa” goods meet the required health and safety standards in global markets"


He extended his utmost gratitude President Akufo-Addo, government and the people of Ghana for the warm hospitality and strong partnership with the Bank.


The 30th Anniversary Celebration and 30th Annual Meetings of shareholders of Afreximbank brought together some Heads of State, Prime Ministers, their representatives, former Presidents, and Vice Presidents.


Others include; Commissioners of the African Union Commission, the Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, the CEO of AU NEPAD, the Executive Director of the UN Economic Commission for Africa as well as leaders of African and international policy institutions.


Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

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