President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea yesterday (10 Nov 2017) in Asmara urged African financial institutions to focus on assisting African countries to address the disadvantages arising from the underdevelopment of the continent’s economy.
Meeting the delegation of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) led by Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of the Bank, Mr. Afwerki said that despite the fact that Africa was endowed with 60 per cent of the world’s resources, the continent continued to be disadvantaged because of the underdeveloped economy which saw it exporting mainly raw materials and primary products.
“Eritrea believes in working with financial institutions that can help in transforming the African economy,” he said, adding that, in the last 25 years, the country had been trying to invest heavily in infrastructure.
President Afwerki expressed Eritrea’s willingness to join Afreximbank as a Member State and said that it would aim to be an effective contributor to encourage and ensure the creation of the environment for the delivery of the services for which the Bank was created.
Eritrea would implement the required procedures to become an active member of the Bank, he pledged.
Earlier, Dr. Benedict Oramah commended Eritrea for the many changes it was implementing to transform the economy, including in the areas of transport, water and agriculture.
He said that, as an African bank that puts Africa first, Afreximbank was committed to working with African countries to address their trade development needs, explaining that the Bank was set up to promote and finance intra-and extra-African trade.
Dr. Oramah outlined the Bank’s current strategy, which focused on intra-African trade; industralisation and export development; and trade finance leadership, and said that Eritrea could benefit from its implementation when it became a member of the Bank.
The delegation also held a separate meeting with Berhane Abrehe, Minister of Finance of Eritrea, and Hagos Ghebrehiwet, Economic Advisor to the President of Eritrea, to brief them on the Bank’s programmes and services.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a pan-African 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. Since 1994, it has approved more than US$51 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about US$10.3 billion in 2016. Afreximbank had total assets of US$11.7 billion as at 31 December 2016 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo. For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com