The Greater Accra Region will host the 30th Annual Meeting of the African Export-Import Bank (Afrieximbank). During the 4-day conference, slated for June 18-21, 2023, the bank will also celebrate its 30 years of existence.
A media launch was held last Friday to outline what stakeholders should expect at this year’s meeting, which organisers anticipate will be extraordinary.
The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afrieximbank, Professor Benedict Oramah; the Minister of State, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam; the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison; and the Deputy Minister for Information, Fatimatu Abubakari, were the key dignitaries at the media launch held in Accra.
The event, which is also marking the Bank’s year-long 30th Anniversary celebration, would have President Akufo-Addo delivering the keynote address to open the conference.
The anniversary celebration and the stakeholder consultations during the four days would be under the theme “Delivering the vision. Building prosperity for Africans”.
In his brief opening remarks, the President of Afrieximbank, Prof. Oramah, noted that apart from the plethora of business and financial entities that had expressed interest in attending the conference, several heads of state had also been invited.
He said that Ghana’s acceptance to host the meeting was a reflection of the confidence the nation had in the bank and the value the government places on its relationship with it.
“We thank His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government for graciously accepting to host Afreximbank’s 30th Annual Meetings,” he said.
According to him, the meeting would bring together thousands of people on one platform, including from Africa, the Caribbean, bankers, corporate leaders, and other policymakers.
He stated that the meeting would include the annual general meeting of stakeholders and an extensive seminar programme featuring plenaries and side events.
Prof. Oramah responded to dozens of questions from journalists in the auditorium and those who participated virtually.
A cross-section of the questions afforded Prof. Oramah the opportunity to share the journey of the bank in these three decades, especially as he has been with the bank since its inception.
He recalled how the bank, which started with low capital, has grown to balloon its portfolio, placing it in a strong position to lend support to countries on the continent.
He stated that in its 30 years of operation, the Afrieximbank has disbursed about $90 million in support to counties.
He mentioned with pride the growth of the bank, adding that when foreign banks were leaving the shores of the continent, Afrieximbank was still around.
According to him, it is the hope of the bank to be able to adequately support the continent’s development, adding that “Africans should own most of the banks on the continent.”
He ended by extending an invitation to everyone to join the Afrieximbank from June 18 to 21, in Accra, to celebrate the milestone.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, who represented the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, thanked the bank for its “continuous support to Ghana, whenever we call upon you.”
He also mentioned other support the bank was offering Ghana, including in the energy sector, and expressed delight that it chose Ghana to host the meeting in June.
It was the expectation of the minister that Ghana could leverage the hosting of the meeting to whip up interest in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), whose secretariat rests in Accra.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, particularly mentioned the $750 million support the bank gave to Ghana last year when the international capital market shut its door against the nation due to the economic crisis.
The bank, he added, partnered with the government of Ghana towards the objectives of the AfCFTA through the commercial launch of the Pan African Payment System, a program expected to save the continent some US$5 million annually.
He said the government of Ghana was a Class A shareholder of the bank, with some 2.5% shares.