A Nigerian, Dr Benedict Oramah, yesterday formally assumed office as the new President of Afreximbank, in Cairo. Oramah, who was elected president of the bank in Lusaka in June, 2015, at the last Annual General Meeting of the bank, was inaugurated in Cairo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oramah is the second Nigerian to head the bank after Mr Chris Edordu, the pioneer president of the bank. He is the third president of the bank.
Speaking after the ceremony, Oramah assured shareholders of his determination to move the bank forward during his tenure. “I assure that we shall not be lulled by the path so much paced by my predecessors, neither shall we be consumed by the paralysis of the will by challenges of the future.
“I step in with courage before me, vision before me and determination inside me and the grace of God before me. “Propelled by all these virtues, you have my assurances that we have many plans and none of the plan is a plan for failure. “The African story is a wakeup call to us all; it justified the need to act and it brings to the fore the urgency,” he said.
Oramah said that the current low levels of intra-African trade had held back Africa’s emergence as a significant and sustainable global economic power. He said that over reliance on extra-African trade had made it difficult for most economies in the continent to wean themselves off commodities.
He, therefore, said that intra- African trade held the key to a technology-driven growth of the continent and for attainment of dynamic comparative advantage in production and export of manufactured goods and services. “This will prepare African firms for better global competition. “We will make the promotion and facilitation of intra- African trade the cornerstone of our work.
“Under my leadership, the bank will be at the forefront of promoting intra-African trade which, in fact, was the main reason for its creation. “We will focus on a few initiatives that we believe will make the greatest impact,” he said. Oramah joined Afreximbank as a chief analyst in1994. (NAN)