• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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More funding as Afreximbank plans $60bn total asset in 6years

Nigeria to get $1bn oil-backed loan from Afreximbank in May

Funding for projects in Nigeria and other African countries is expected to increase as the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on Monday said it would double its total assets to $60 billion in less than six years.

This comes after it took the Bank 30 years to reach $30 billion in total assets and guarantee.

Benedict Oramah, president and Chairman of the Boards of Afreximbank, disclosed this at the ongoing 30th annual meetings of the bank, with the theme, ‘Delivering the Vision, Building Prosperity for Africans’, the first gathering of global Africa, in Accra, Ghana.

He said the Bank has remained financially strong, and that 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,” he said.

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,” Oramah said.

“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, he said.

Oramah appreciated the vision of the African leaders who founded Afreximbank 30 years ago, saying one by one, they are being delivered within the framework of “Team Africa”, comprising the African Union and its Agencies, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Secretariat and Afreximbank as the underpinning banker.

He said today, the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) is up and running, which will save the continent 5 billion US dollars in intra-African transfer changes. It will also expedite and enable payments for intra-African trade in African currencies.

According to him, it is now possible for a Gambian to buy Nigerian urea fertilisers using Gambian Dalasi to purchase Naira; for a young Ghanaian to pay for holidays in Seychelles in Ghanaian Cedi, and for a small farmer in rural Zambia to stream her favourite Nollywood movie paying in Zambian Kwacha.

Speaking earlier, Nana Addo Dankwo Akufo-Addo, president of the federal republic Ghana said Afriexembank under its countercyclical response mechanism provided a timely support to help Ghana navigate the macroeconomic management challenges worsened by Russia’s aggression of Ukraine in an orderly manner when suddenly the country realised it was alone.

He attributed Ghana’s difficult economic challenges partly to the downgrading by the various rating agencies.

Ernest Yedu Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, delivering his welcome remarks, said that Ghana represented the most appropriate venue for the celebration of Afreximbank’s 30th anniversary, given the Bank’s role in developing and promoting African trade and the fact that Ghana was the home of the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Addison said that Afreximbank had been very supportive of Ghana and had, over the years, provided more than two billion dollars to support the Ghanaian economy.

He commended Afreximbank for the approach it adopted in its work which emphasised a collaborative approach in dealing with other continental institutions.

In his contribution, Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, said that with the inclusion of a vision for an integrated African market in the founding treaty of the OAU, the founding fathers of the AU had foreseen the need for Afreximbank.

That vision had been grounded in the objective of the integration of African trade finance, he noted.

Describing Afreximbank and the AfCFTA as twins born 30 years apart, Mene noted that if trade barriers were eliminated but there was no trade finance, all the efforts would come to nothing. At the same time, if trade finance was available but trade barriers persisted and prevented trade, then all the efforts would still have been wasted.