Saturday, 13 June 2015

News Release: Afreximbank Appoints New President

Dr. Benedict Oramah
Shareholders of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) today appointed Dr. Benedict Oramah to be the next President of the continental multilateral trade finance institution, making him the third President to serve the Bank since its establishment in 1993.

Dr. Oramah’s appointments was one of the key decisions taken during the Bank’s 22nd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders which took place today in Lusaka.

Dr. Oramah takes over from Jean-Louis Ekra, who has been the Bank’s chief executive officer since 2005. Mr. Ekra was preceded in the post by Christopher Edordu, the pioneer President of the Bank.

Dr. Oramah, a Nigerian national, has served as Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development and Corporate Banking at Afreximbank since 2008. He was a pioneer staff of the Bank, which he joined in 1994 as Chief Analyst, rising to the position of Senior Director, Planning and Business Development Department in 2007. He previously served as Assistant Manager (Research) at the Nigerian Export-Import Bank from 1992 to 1994.

In an acceptance speech following the appointment, Dr. Oramah said that the shareholders should leave the Annual General Meeting confident that they had made the right decision, explaining, “I may not be a shareholder of your bank, but my interests in the Bank are fully aligned with yours.”

“I have invested most of my adult life in your bank: I made important contributions in the establishment and development of the Bank so I have a vested interest in its survival and growth. Your bank exposed me to the world; and above all, about two years ago, your bank saved my life. So there can be no sacrifice too great for me to make for your bank. I step into the new role with courage and loyalty founded on these facts,” continued Dr. Orama

He promised to continue to pursue the policy of inclusiveness started by his predecessors and to support all shareholders, big and small, pointing out that he would use the lessons of history to shape the vision for tomorrow.

Dr. Oramah completed his advanced education at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, where he obtained an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics in 1987 and 1991 respectively. He had received a B.Sc., also in agricultural economics, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1983.

Dr. Oramah’s appointment followed a recommendation by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Under the terms of the Afreximbank Charter, Presidents of the Bank are appointed by the General Meeting of Shareholders upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors, and serve for terms of five years, renewable only once.

The formal selection process for the new President began in January 2015 with the publication of a call for applications in the international media and on the Afreximbank website. Applicants were subsequently shortlisted and interviewed in a process managed by an international human resources consulting firm. The names of the four top candidates were forwarded to the Board of Directors which then recommended the preferred candidate to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

Also today, Dr. Denny Kalyalya, Governor of the Bank of Zambia, was elected Chairman of the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, replacing Marcelin Agaya, Vice Minister for the Economy of Gabon, who had held the chairmanship since the last Annual General Meeting held in Libreville in 2014.

The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders was preceded by three days of side events, including seminars and meeting of the Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa, an investment forum and a trade exhibition. 

 Obi Emekekwue

Afreximbank External Communications

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