Accra, Tuesday 20th June, 2023 - African leaders have been charged to collaborate more as they seek to increase trade among their countries as well as find solutions to the new challenges confronting the continent.
Speaking during the 30th Annual General Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Accra, various speakers emphasized the need for a more collaborative effort to boost intra-African trade in the face of the adverse economic challenges.
Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Minister for Finance in his address to participants, implored African leaders to share in the vision of the Pan-African bank to give deepened credence to the bank.
According to him, there was the need to position the Bank as a bridge extending forward for people to walk across to have a better sense of urgency about the course of their lives.
“Our aspirations must be to build on a deeper sense of shared responsibility and ensure our institutions are supported enough to crowd in trillions of dollars’ worth of financing into Africa,” he said.
Indeed, he asserted, with a mandate that combines social, economic, financial, and environmental goals, under the guidance of President Oramah, the bank can contribute an incredible amount of work toward Africa’s collective goal of achieving a prosperous Africa within the next 30 years of the Bank’s existence.
Minister for Finance of Egypt and Chairman of the Afreximbank Annual Meetings, Mohamed Ahmed Maait, represented by Gamal Negm, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, was of the view that Africans must work collaboratively towards finding integrated solutions to the new challenges confronting the continent.
He lauded Afreximbank for playing a significant role in developing and implementing solutions like the just launched insurance subsidiary to address the challenges confronting Africa and expressed the hope that AAM2023 would lead to even more constructive solutions to Africa’s problems.
Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, on his part 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.
Mr. 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.
He, therefore, commended the support and collaboration which Afreximbank had provided for the implementation of the AfCFTA, including the introduction of the AfCFTA Adjustment Fund and the establishment of the Pan-African Payment and settlement System (PAPPS), adding that the support was critical as Africa sought to rely on itself to create a better future.
Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison said 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.
Dr. Addison said that Afreximbank had been very supportive of Ghana and had, over the years, provided more than $ 2bn to support the Ghanaian economy. He commended Afreximbank for the approach it adopted in its work, which emphasised a collaborative approach to dealing with other continental institutions.
HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana opened 30th Anniversary Annual Meetings on Monday. In attendance were heads of state and government.
These included HE Azali Assoumani, President of Comoros, HE Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi, HE Mia Motley, Prime Minister of Barbados, HE Faure Gnassingbe, President of Togo, HE Aymen Benabderrahmane, Prime Minister of Algeria, HE Patrice Émery Trovoada Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe, HE Dr. Ralph Everard Gonsalves, PM of St Vincent and the Grenadines, HE Philip Davis, Prime Minister of Bahamas, HE Brigadier Mark Anthony, Phillips Prime Minister of Guyana.
The over thousand delegates deliberated on the theme, “Delivering the Vision, Building Prosperity for Africans”, and seminars and workshops included, “Challenges of Peace and Security: What would it take for Africa to feed itself; Overcoming the challenges of food security for sustainable development in Africa; Building Prosperity: African Culture and Literature as a Foundation for African Renaissance; Delivering the Vision Corporate Perspectives; and The Future of Integration in Africa. END.