Afreximbank President Dr. Benedict Oramah (right) with Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank, at the end of the Afreximbank-Ecobank Strategy meeting in Cairo.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Ecobank rose from a strategy meeting Cairo on Monday with a pledge to ensure deepened cooperation in the promotion of trade among African countries to support the economic development of the continent.
Speaking during the opening of the strategy meeting held at the Afreximbank Headquarters, Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of the Bank, said that intra-African trade represented a clear pathway for Africa to realize its economic potentials and that collaboration with Ecobank would be in line with the vision of the founding fathers of Afreximbank to increase the development impact of the continent’s commercial banks.
“With a presence in 33 African countries, there is no better partner for Afreximbank to work with in its drive to develop intra-African trade,” said Dr. Oramah.
Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank, said that the time had come for African countries to make appropriate use of the strong and growing internal demand that exists within the region which is driving strong returns on capital.
“Cooperating with Afreximbank is an excellent way for Ecobank to prosecute one of the objectives of its founding fathers, which is to contribute to the development of the continent,” he said. “Growing intra-African trade and strengthening the capacity of our economies to produce, export and trade amongst themselves is an excellent way to pursue this objective and is one of the key things we will seek to do in our partnership with Afreximbank.”
Through working together in an inclusive way, Ecobank and Afreximbank could create something bigger than either institution and would bring about substantive change in the lives of people across Africa by making the market work to deliver value, said Mr. Ayeyemi.
In September, when he was sworn in as President of Afreximbank, Dr. Oramah had pledged to make the promotion and facilitation of intra-African trade the cornerstone of Afreximbank’s work in the years ahead, saying, “I believe that intra-African trade holds the key to a technology-driven growth on our continent as it will facilitate the attainment of dynamic comparative advantage in the production and export of certain kinds of manufactured goods and services and will prepare African firms for better global competition”.
He added that the Bank would work to create the capacity for export manufacturing, especially light manufactures, by shifting resources more to the financing of the import of investment or capital goods while de-emphasizing the financing of the import of non-essential consumption goods.
Manal Mounir Hendy