By Staff Reporter
Professor Benedict Oramah, President of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has been named African Banker of the Year at the African Banker Awards 2022 ceremony. This is the second time he has received the award, which was previously presented to him in 2017.
The award recognises Professor Oramah’s contributions in championing an Africa-owned fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership, Afreximbank disbursed over US$7 billion to assist African economies in addressing the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. In a landmark US$2 billion financing deal in 2021, Afreximbank guaranteed the procurement of 400 million doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that provided access to 30% of Africa’s population and some Caribbean countries.
The Bank continued its unwavering support to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) through its flagship initiatives, including the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), to facilitate cross border trade in African currencies, the harmonisation of standards across the 54 African countries, the organisation of the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban in 2021 and intensification of the financing of intra-African trade.
The selection committee also hailed President Oramah’s transformational leadership in spearheading Africa’s trade and economic development. Since his assumption of office, Professor Oramah has continued transforming Afreximbank’s operations through digitalisation and automation of key processes. This transformation process has shaped the strategic direction of the Bank and was integral in moving it from a US$5 billion bank to a US$25 billion bank in the 5 years to 2021. Total revenues crossed the US$1 billion-mark since 2019.
Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, commented: “It is a great honour to receive the African Banker of the Year award. Afreximbank remained focused on supporting Africa as it contended with unprecedented challenges. This award recognises the collective hard work of our entire team in delivery on important initiatives that made a difference to the lives of our people. I stand as the symbol of our collective endeavour and dedicate the award to our Board and very hardworking staff. I also dedicate the award to the memory of all those whose lives our efforts couldn’t save as we fought the pandemic.”
According to the organisers, the African Banker Award recognises an influential leader in the African banking sector who, through great leadership and vision, has overseen a strong financial performance, successfully guiding their organisation to new heights in the industry during an unprecedented year of COVID-19 inflation challenges.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures 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 African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has 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 AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2021, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at about US$25 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$51 billion between 2016 and 2021. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.