The Governor of the Bank of Ghana(BoG), Dr Ernest Yedu Addison, has lauded Afreximbank for the numerous interventions given to Ghana to resolve challenges.
Dr Addison indicated that evidence of the Bank’s interventions were numerous including infrastructure investments to support intra-African trade, investments in agriculture and industry, trade facilitation, trade guarantee and advisory services and country-specific programmes to assist those in dire economic situations, among others.
Speaking at the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2023) in Accra on Sunday, Dr Addison said, “The Afreximbank provided support to Ghana’s Volta River Authority in 2014 to enhance energy generation and helped resolve the energy crises the country experienced during that time.
“The Afreximbank has also had a good working relationship with us at the BoG and facilitated foreign exchange swap arrangements with banks in Ghana to boost foreign exchange liquidity support for Ghana’s international trade.”
Just recently in the midst of Ghana’s economic crisis, he noted, Afreximbank agreed to extend a US$750 million loan facility to the country to finance capital growth-related expenditures in the 2022 Budget.
The Governor further indicated that over the years, various collaborations between Ghana and Afreximbank resulted in the disbursement of over US$2 billion to support development and trade-related initiatives in Ghana.
He pointed out that Afreximbank had made several achievements in line with the vision of Agenda 2063, adding, “That vision encapsulates not only Africa’s aspirations for the Future but also identifies flagship programmes that can boost Africa’s economic growth,” he added.
The Governor emphasized that Afreximbank intervened strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic, disbursing more than US$8 billion to central banks and commercial banks to avert looming trade debt payment defaults. A portion of this funding was also used to purchase test kits, PPEs and other COVID-19 containment materials in Member States.
He noted that the Bank disbursed over US$5 billion to Member States and businesses towards the procurement of food, fertilizer and grains as the Russian-Ukraine crisis unfolded.
“Working with UNECA, the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat, Afreximbank created a pooled procurement platform termed as the Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX) to help African countries procure grains, edible oils and fertilizers at reduced costs,” he stressed.
He also stated that Afreximbank disbursed over US$20 billion in support of intra-African trade and investments and projected to double this to US$40 billion by the end of December 2026.
According to Dr. Addison, Afreximbank was financing African-owned financial institutions to acquire foreign banks operating in Member States with a view to building an inter-connected African financial system to help promote intraAfrican trade.
Through the Afreximbank Trade Finance Facility (AFTRAF), Dr Addison stated, about 500 of the continent’s 600 regulated commercial banks have been provided with Trade Credit Confirmation lines to support intra-African trade and the total amount earmarked for this project is about US$8 Billion.
This funding is aimed at ensuring that every country in Africa has at least one bank that has a dedicated credit line to support intra-African trade, he added.
He hinted that Afreximbank was collaborating with the AU Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat to implement the biennial Intra-African Trade Fairs, which may become the premier marketplace for the promotion of intraAfrican trade and investments.
“This, coupled with the establishment of the AfCFTA Adjustment Fund for which Afreximbank is providing the funding of US$10 billion, could help African countries effectively adjust to AfCFTA tariff removals and prepare them to participate in the new trading regime.”
He, therefore, urged participants to actively participate in broadening the policy discourse by contributing to the prosperity of the African continent and its people.
Patience Anaadem & Priscilla Nimako, ISD