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APO International

Afreximbank’s Annual Meetings 2024 Calls for Africans Across the Globe to Unite

todayJune 13, 2024 10

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Heads of State, Ministers, government officials, and renowned captains of industry were among the over two thousand delegates attending day one of the 31st African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Annual Meetings (AAM) (www.Afreximbank.com) being held in Nassau, The Bahamas from June 12-15. Themed “Owning our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa,” the first day of the Meetings called to strengthen the linkages between Africa and the Caribbean, the sixth region of the African Union. These meetings are considered crucial for economic decision-makers in Africa and the Caribbean, and are covered by the African, Caribbean, and international media.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. John Rolle, Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas, encouraged the attendees to capitalise on the opportunities to learn, share, and network. He mentioned that the Caribbean could benefit from learning more about the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) from Africa. He believes that with support from Afreximbank, the Central Banks across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) can work towards replicating that system.

Mr Rolle, said: “A successful project in the Caribbean could keep us on pace to deliver on targets that are already being set for an international payment system that, even at the retail level, is more integrated, faster, and significantly cheaper for the average consumer. If we perfect the multilateral cross-border payments and settlements arrangement, it could also help us to conserve the use of precious international reserves, especially if we expand intra-regional trade.”

In recognition of the increasingly closer linkages between Africa and the Caribbean and the movement towards a Global Africa uniting Africans, their diaspora, and descendants worldwide, the three-day event is taking place in The Bahamas jointly with the 3rd AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF).

In his remarks, Mr. Denys Denya, Senior Executive Vice President of Afreximbank, said the AAM and ACTIF2024 were a reunion of all Africans in the context of Global Africa and would help shape the shared vision and aspirations of the Caribbean region and Africa.

Mr Denya, said: “For a continent that is endowed with such an abundance of natural resources, the quest for sustainable development has been a perennial struggle. The state of development across the Caribbean region, while not identical, is not quite different from this narrative. It is in this context of sustained deprivation and marginalization, that we seek to unify our forces in the context of Global Africa for a better future. In our unity, we have the numbers, we have the voice to sit at the table when decisions are made. We are a viable force to influence global decisions.”

Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, emphasised the significant trade potential between Africa and the Caribbean, projecting trade to reach US$1.8 million annually by 2028. She suggested it is time to explore establishing a free trade area between Africa and the Caribbean. “Trade agreements are one way to help bring down barriers and open new opportunities,” said Ms Coke-Hamilton.

After the Opening Ceremony, delegates attended a session on “Building Resilience in an Era of Globalization,” featuring a keynote address from Dr Roger W. Ferguson, Former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve. Dr Ferguson, the first African American to hold that post, emphasized the importance of developing diverse and flexible systems to respond to challenges, highlighting the risks of rigidity in the face of shocks.

During the first plenary session, which looked at navigating economic transformation in a poly-crisis world, Chairman and Managing Partner of SouthBridge Group and Former President of African Development Bank Group, Dr. Donald P. Kaberuka, emphasised the importance of countries learning to manage crises rather than treating them as unique situations. Meanwhile, Prof. Jeffery Sachs, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, said that in the face of stiff competition internationally, Africa must unite. He said: “You cannot operate in this world as a small country. Even the small countries that are successful are part of somebody’s world. And Africa is too big to be part of somebody’s world. It’s got to be Africa as a fundamental pillar of the world scene.”

During the second plenary session before lunch, the Hon. Ken Ofori Attah, Economic Advisor to the President of Ghana, Hon. Hassan Abdalla, Governor, Central Bank of Egypt, and the Hon. Chad Blackman, Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs&Investment, Barbados, discussed best practices in dealing with macroeconomic crises, highlighting the importance of credibility, and having access to better financing options.

Day One also saw Actress and JVL Media Co-Founder Viola Davis sign a memorandum of intent with Afreximbank and Fund for Export Development to create an African Film Development Value Chain. Following the ceremony, she emphasised the power of storytelling in reshaping the African narrative. She said the prevailing perception of poverty and suffering is intentionally perpetuated to justify mistreatment by oppressors, and so it is important for Africans to take ownership of their narrative.

After lunch, delegates attended three plenary sessions on the following topics: “Driving Economic Transformation in Global Africa: The Role of Emerging Afri-Caribbean Giants,” “Making the African Continental Free Trade Agreement Work for Global Africa,” and “Using Industrial Transformation to Build Bridges: The Global Africa Vision and Experience of the Dangote Group.”

The day closed with remarks from H.E. Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, who urged Africans to embrace the global African agenda, see themselves as they can and should be, and march into the future with the determination to write their own stories of success such as the African Continental Free Trade Area.

AAM and ACTIF are focused on addressing challenges that affect African and Caribbean economies, promoting growth, and accelerating trade and investment flows within Africa and with the diaspora. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Afreximbank.

Media Contact: 
Vincent Musumba
Manager, Communications and Events (Media Relations)
Email: press@afreximbank.com

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About Afreximbank:
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance, facilitate and promote intra and extra-African trade. For over 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative instruments to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the AfCFTA, Afreximbank has in partnership with the African Union Commission and AFCFTA Secretariat launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement. The AFCFTA Secretariat and the Bank have created a USD 10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. 
At the end of December 2023, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$37.3 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$6.1 billion. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.
For more information, visit: www.Afreximbank.com

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