President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on African leaders to prioritize the establishment of strong financial institutions to foster development across the continent.
He pointed out that the continent would be unable to achieve its growth unless it has strong development financial institutions.
President Akufo-Addo made the call at the 30th Annual General Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Accra on Monday.
He stated, “Unless we have strong financial institutions we are not going to develop, we have learnt over the decades that relying on foreign capital is both risky and costly. It has resulted in huge financial leakages to a high cost of default-driven borrowing rates and interest payments and undermine the growth of our financial institution’s domestic resource mobilization and private sector development.”
“These institutions need to be properly capitalised to have effective coordination with the African Union (AU) in order to be able to deliver effectively for the continent,” he stated.
He, therefore, urged African countries to contribute to Afreximbank’s general capital initiative by subscribing to their allotted shares.
The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, disclosed that to deal with the considerable intra-African trade finance gap, Afreximbank disbursed over 20 billion US dollars in five years to 2021 and projects to double this to 40 billion US dollars in the five years to 2026.
According to him, Afreximbank arranged the 2.9 billion US dollar bundle of credit and guarantees that made it possible for Egyptian contractors to begin executing the largest intra-African construction contract for a dam in Tanzania that supported, phosphate fertilizer imports from Morocco to Nigeria and Ethiopia with hundreds of millions of US dollars.
“This enabled Vista Bank, Burkina Faso, to complete the acquisition of some BNP subsidiaries in West Africa,” he emphasized.
Prof. Oramah also disclosed that the Bank is working with the African Regional Standards Organization to harmonize trade standards across Africa.
He asserted that Africa needed strong visionary leaders that were committed to working for the welfare of all Africans.
“There should be an emphasis in investing in technology in order to stimulate economic development and job creation for the continent’s youth,” he added.
On his part, Ghana’s Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, stated that Afreximbank had made significant contributions in building prosperity for all Africans in its 30 years.
Patience Anaadem, ISD