African Prosperity Network (APN) has awarded Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export and Import Bank (www.Afreximbank.com) (Afreximbank or “the Bank”) the Financial Leadership Award at their African Prosperity Dialogue gala dinner held on January 26, 2024.
The Leadership Awards is an initiative of the African Prosperity Network that seeks to recognise and celebrate Africans making transformational impacts in the financial services industry across the continent. Specifically, the Financial Leadership category celebrates individuals in senior positions who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and expertise, who exude sound financial management, prudent risk management and innovative financial thinking.
Afreximbank has, over the years, been at the forefront of promoting the socio-economic development of Africa and its populace. Since assuming the stewardship of the Bank, Prof Oramah has overseen the tremendous growth of the Bank and the deployment of innovative instruments to catalyse trade, industrial and economic development in Africa. Such innovations find expression in the introduction of crisis response products such as the Countercyclical Trade Liquidity Facility (COTRALF) in 2016, the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) in 2020 and the Ukraine Crisis Adjustment Trade Financing Programme for Africa (UKAFPA) in 2022. Between 2016 and 2023, the Bank disbursed over US$105 billion.
The Bank is also a staunch supporter of the implementation of the AfCFTA and has, in partnership with the AfCFTA Secretariat and African Union Commission (AUC), put in place fundamental building blocks to advance intra-regional trade, such as: the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA); the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), the Intra-African Trade Fair, The African Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme, The AfCFTA Adjustment Fund, the African Trade Payment Services (AfPAY) and the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme (AFTRAF); all revolutionary initiatives that will not only allow cross-border payments and settlements in local currencies but also formalise the much needed informal trade in Africa. These initiatives will gradually allow Africa to leapfrog the impediments of intra-regional trade.
While receiving the award, Prof. Oramah said: “I primarily thank our host, H.E. President Nana Akufo-Addo of the Republic of Ghana for his unrelenting support to the Bank since assuming office. We are witnessing very perilous times because of various crises and as ever, Africa must find a way to rise above these storms. I take this award not as a symbol of exceptionalism, but rather as a call to duty, a call to do more for our beloved continent. The struggle for freedom and prosperity that our forebears commenced over 7 decades ago will only be complete when Africa has gained its economic and financial independence.”
He added: “As today is a day of celebrating the wins, on behalf of the entire Afreximbank Board, Management, staff, partners and indeed clients, I receive this recognition and sincerely thank the conveners of the APN for the honor as well as for the work they are doing in shining a positive light on Africa.”
Other notable recipients of the Leadership Awards were H.E. President Alassane Ouatarra of Côte d’Ivoire, H.E. John Kufuor Former President of Ghana, H.E. Dr Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (Global Africa Leadership Award), H.E. Baroness Patricia Scotland of the Commonwealth Secretariat (Global Africa Champion Award) and Hon. Mohamed Abou El Enein, Member of National Assembly of Egypt (Industrialist of the Year Award) among others.