- Afreximbank Headquarters
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has called on African countries to create new vehicles that would make it possible for manufacturers to trade across the continent.
A statement on Thursday by Mr Obi Emekekwue, Afreximbank’s Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management, quoted the bank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah as making the suggestion in New York.
Oramah said at the UN Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016-2019) that manufacturers needed somebody else to handle the export and trading of their products as they were not equipped for such roles.
He said that export trading companies had been one of the approaches used to tackle that challenge, adding that the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area also attempted to address the issue.
Oramah said that previous efforts by African countries to use manufacturing and industrialisation as engines for development and growth had failed largely as a result of issues such as lack of access to market, lack of capital and skills and inadequate infrastructure.
He stated that many large-scale investors had little interest in investing in Africa in a massive way because of the fragmented nature of the African market.
Oramah suggested that Africa should focus more on labour-intensive manufacturing which had more net effect on the population than on capital intensive industries.
He also stressed the need for Africa to focus on skills development, in particular, by going back to building technical schools and supporting universities of technology to equip people with the right skills for the emerging jobs.
Oramah announced that Afreximbank had launched an equity investment fund, the Fund for Export Development in Africa, which would help attract foreign direct investment to support industrialisation and manufacturing in Africa.
Other participants in the session are Dr Adewunmi Adesina, President, African Development Bank; Li Yong, Director-General, United Nations Industrial Organisation; President Apha Conde of Guinea; President Edgar Lungu of Zambia and Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan of Cote d’Ivoire.
Afreximbank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.
The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.
The bank is headquartered in Cairo.