- A Nigerian, Dr Benedict Oramah, on Monday in Cairo took over the leadership of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) as the third president of the continental trade finance institution.
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 colourful ceremony was presided over by Alexander Chikwanda, Minister of Finance of Zambia and Chairman of the General Meeting of Shareholders of the bank.
Oramah takes over from Jean-Louis Ekra, who has led the institution since 2005.
- In a speech setting out his vision for the bank, Oramah pledged to make the promotion and facilitation of intra-African trade the cornerstone of Afreximbank’s work in the years ahead.
“I believe that intra-African trade holds the key to a technology-driven growth on our continent. The trade will facilitate the attainment of dynamic comparative advantage in the production and export of certain kinds of manufactured goods and services and will prepare African firms for better global competition,” Oramah said.
- Until his appointment, Oramah was Afreximbank’s Executive Vice-President in charge of Corporate Banking and Business Development.
He was a pioneer staff of the bank, which he joined in 1994 as Chief Analyst, rising to the position of Senior Director, Planning and Business Development Department in 2007.
He previously served as Assistant Manager (Research) at the Nigerian Export-Import Bank from 1992 to 1994.
He completed his advanced education at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, where he obtained an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics in 1987 and 1991, respectively.
He had received a B.Sc., also in agricultural economics, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1983.
Oramah’s appointment followed a recommendation by the bank’s Board of Directors.
Under the terms of the Afreximbank Charter, presidents of the bank are appointed by the General Meeting of Shareholders upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors, and serve for terms of five years, renewable only once.