NDAMU SANDU IN ACCRA, GHANA
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) seeks to double its asset base to US$60bn within six years riding on the strong support of its 60 member states “whose aspirations are our responsibilities”, its president Benedict Oramah said on Monday.
The bank has an asset base of US$32bn from US$150m when it was established 30 years ago.
Oramah said while it took 30 years to attain an asset base of US$30bn, he was looking ahead with confidence that the bank would double its size double its in less than 6 years”.
“I make this projection with faith in your trust and confidence, and also because we commence the journey into the next 30 years on a platform of a “mother” that has birthed many off-springs, offering services from project preparation to market access services, operating in our new larger continent of Afri-Caribbean,” Oramah said in his opening remarks at the bank’s annual meetings and 30th anniversary celebrations.
This year’s annual meetings are being attended by CARICOM member states. Eleven CARICOM states have joined the Cairo-headquartered financial institution.
Afreximbank will soon launch the operations of its Caribbean Office in Bridgetown, Barbados as it seeks to connect African businesses with opportunities in the Caribbean and vice versa Oramah said.
He said the bank was working with some African and Caribbean airlines to commence commercial operations between the two regions.
Afreximbank has approved a US$1.5bn facility to support the CARICOM bloc with plans to double that in the near future.
“We do these not because it is merely a nice thing to do but because a united Africa and the Caribbean represent a more potent force that can confront the exigencies of now and the challenges of tomorrow,” Oramah said.
Afreximbank, he said, has remained financially strong disbursing over US$100bn in the past 30 years.
“An institution that posted just about US$12m in total revenues in 1995 returned over US$1.5bn in revenues in 2022. These results are indicative of opportunities in Africa; they prove without doubt that development work can be done profitably. Again, they validate the assumptions of the founding fathers of the Bank 30 years ago,” Oramah said.
He said the journey to the next 30 years require that” we win the battle against those who are doing everything to weaken African multilateral institutions”.
“We may say no to them and ensure we do not be willing tools in destroying what Africa’s pioneer leaders toiled to build,” Oramah said.
Afreximbank is Zimbabwe’s all weather bank.
The Cairo-headquartered bank has in the past bailed out Zimbabwe and was the last bank standing when multilateral and bilateral financial institutions gave the southern African nation a wide berth due to a debt overhang.
Zimbabwe has a total consolidated debt of US$17.5bn.