Afreximbank president champions African free trade alongside COVID-19 response

On Tuesday, June 2, the Africa Center hosted Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), for a discussion on innovative financing amid COVID-19. The virtual conversation was moderated by Africa Center Senior Fellow Ms. Aubrey Hruby, following opening remarks from Africa Center Director of Programs and Studies Ms. Bronwyn Bruton.

Prof. Oramah opened the discussion with an outline of Afreximbank’s COVID-19 response, underscoring how the Bank’s $3 billion Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility fits into the organization’s broader aim to create, connect, and deliver growth in trade and industrialization across African markets. In the current crisis environment, this translates to creating interventions to assist in pertinent goods production, connecting businesses through trade facilitation and innovative payment platforms, and delivering results via the financing of distribution channels and logistics.

Beyond the topline trade concerns, Prof. Oramah highlighted African people as the ultimate development resource. Accordingly, he spotlighted Afreximbank’s support for the informal economy and creative industries, along with investments in healthcare and manufacturing that stand to enhance livelihoods and promote job creation. At the conclusion of the event, Prof. Oramah responded to participant questions on topics related to debt relief efforts, support for tech startups and agro-processing, and where opportunities may have been presented by the pandemic.

Missed the event? Watch the webcast, below, and engage us @ACAfricaCenter with any questions, comments, or feedback.

For more Africa Center content, go to our Coronavirus: Africa page.