The shareholders of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) have voted and re-appointed Prof. Benedict Oramah as President of the Pan-African multilateral financial institution for a second 5-year term.
The decision was announced in Cairo, following Afreximbank’s 27th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders which was held by the circulation of resolutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
This was disclosed in a press statement released by the bank on Sunday, June 14, 2020.
In his acceptance statement released shortly thereafter, the re-appointed President told shareholders that the Bank’s ultimate goal under his second term in office was the realization of Africa’s strategic ambition to create an integrated market.
According to him, “We want an Africa where the foundations of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) are laid expeditiously so that the 84,000 kilometres of borders that have divided us for ages can begin to come down. AfCFTA would drive the industrialization of Africa, support the emergence of regional value chains, turn Africa’s creative and cultural assets into engines of growth, grow jobs for the continent’s youth, convey respect to Africans wherever they may be and better prepare the continent to compete more effectively in the global markets.”
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Prof. Oramah highlighted that between 2015 and 2019, Afreximbank disbursed more than US$30 billion in support of African trade, with over US$15 billion channelled towards the financing and promotion of intra-African trade.
A resolution proposing the re-election of Mr. Stefan-Luis Francois Nalletam by as a director representing Class A Shareholders, and Mr. Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing as a director representing Class B Shareholders was also approved by the meeting.
The shareholders also approved the 2019 audited accounts as well as the proposal to raise an additional $500 million in equity within Afreximbank’s current strategic plan called Impact 2021 Africa transformed.
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The approval to raise additional equity was in recognition that an amount of US$1 billion, earlier authorized to be mobilized, had almost been fully raised.
Oramah, while assuring the bank’s shareholders said, “I make a commitment that with your support, the bank will remain well capitalized throughout my term of office and beyond. We will continue our efforts to diversify sources of equity to include the markets while ensuring that the Bank’s development focus remains unchanged.”
IMF appoints Ceda Ogada as new director and secretary of the fund
Before joining the IMF, Ogada worked at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
The International Monetary fund (IMF) has announced the appointment of Mr. Ceda Ogada as the Secretary of the Fund and Director of the Secretary’s Department with effect from September 1, 2020, following the retirement of the former Secretary, Mr Jianhai Lin.
This was disclosed in a press statement by IMF on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
While making the announcement, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said, “Ceda has outstanding institutional knowledge, strategic and intellectual heft, and people leadership. His unparalleled ability to bring people together, combined with his profound appreciation of the Fund’s institutional history and legal principles, as well as a strong service orientation, will help the Fund to even more effectively serve our member countries in a very challenging economic environment.”
Mr. Ogada joined the IMF’s Legal Department in 1999 and rose through the ranks to become Deputy General Counsel in 2014. During this time, he has worked on virtually all aspects of the Fund’s work, including advising on the governance of the Fund, on country operations, helping to develop Fund policies and implementation guidance, and providing technical assistance to member countries.
According to the statement, ‘’Some of the key projects that he has worked on include the Fund’s enhanced policy to address governance and corruption issues, ensuring the adequacy of the Fund’s lending resources, reforms in lending policy such as the establishment of the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) and the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), reviews on surveillance policy and capacity development strategy and transparency, archives and communications policies.’’
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The new Secretary of the fund was heavily involved in the work on euro area crisis countries during the global financial crisis. Recently, he has led the Legal Department in promoting good governance and transparency in several countries, together with the use of emergency financing for the COVID-19 crisis.
Before he joined IMF, Mr. Ogada worked at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development as a legal expert and also before that he was in private legal practice in the United States. He holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in history from Dartmouth College. Mr. Ogada is a citizen of Kenya.
AfDB appoints Rabah Arezki as new vice president and chief economist
Before Arezki joined the World Bank, he worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Dr Rabah Arezki as Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, with effect from October 1, 2020.
This was disclosed in a press statement on the bank’s website on July 13, 2020.
Dr Rabah Arezki, who is an Algerian citizen, is currently the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa Region at the World Bank, a role he has held since 2017.
At the World Bank, he led the development of the Bank’s “moonshot approach” for the Middle East and Africa which aims to achieve full internet and digital payment connectivity. He championed the agenda on fair competition, data and transparency to empower and unlock the potential of the region’s youth.
Before Arezki joined the World Bank, he worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2006 to 2017. He started his career at the IMF as an Economist and became the Chief of the Commodities and Environment Unit in the Research Department. He provided leadership on IMF’s rapid response to the historical collapse in oil prices that started in 2014. He advised authorities all around the world on risk mitigation policies.
Dr Arezki is a senior fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, an external Research Associate at the Oxford University, UK, a research fellow at the CESifo, a global independent research network. Dr. Arezki is also a resource person for the African Economic Research Consortium and a Research Fellow at the Economic Research Forum. He has been a non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institute, USA.
He has published extensively both in top academic journals and policy-oriented outlets and is a co-editor and co-author of five books including Shifting Commodity Markets in a Globalized World. Many of his research papers have been cited extensively in academic circles and in prominent media outlets.
In his statement after his appointment, Dr Arezki said, “The African Development Bank is making excellent progress in accelerating Africa’s development. I am excited with the opportunity to work with President Adesina and the Bank’s leadership and teams to further provide top notch policy, knowledge and capacity building support for African countries.”
Dr Arezki holds a Masters in Economics and Statistics from Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Economique (ENSAE) – France (2003), and a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute – Italy (2006). He is multilingual and fluent in French, English, and Arabic.
In his own response, the President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, said, “I am delighted that Dr. Rabah Arezki is joining the African Development Bank Group following an impactful career at the World Bank and the IMF. Rabah is an outstanding researcher and policy expert with extensive experience in research, policy and reforms.”
“His leadership will be especially important as the Bank designs and deploys policy-based operations to address COVID-19, advances policy reforms, and supports African countries growth recovery efforts from the pandemic,” Adesina added.
Ecobank Transnational appoints Alain Nkontchou as new Chairman
“I am honoured to be appointed as Chairman of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.”
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has announced the appointment of Alain Nkontchou as its new Chairman of the board of directors.
Nkontchou, who is Camerounian by nationality, has been serving as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the pan-African banking group since 2015. A statement made available to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) confirmed that his latest appointment took effect on June 30, 2020.
The Camerounian is taking over from Nigeria’s Emmanuel Ikazoboh, whose six-year tenure as Chairman of Ecobank’s holding company ended last month, even as he just reached the retirement age of 70. The company also noted that the new appointment is in tandem with its Articles of Association.
While reacting to his own appointment as Chairman, Alain Nkontchou said he is quite honoured and that he was looking forward to working with the rest of the board members.
“I am honoured to be appointed as Chairman of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated. Having served on its Board since 2015, I have seen Ecobank’s resilience and its proud history, built on strong foundation to secure the Bank’s future success. I look forward to working with the Board and Executive team as we continue our journey ahead and I know that we are well-placed to navigate through the current environment and set the standards in financial services for our customers across Africa. I would also like to express my thanks to my predecessor, Mr Emmanuel Ikazoboh, for his leadership of the Board and to wish him all the best for the future,” he said.
Alain Nkontchou co-founded Enko Capital Management LLP, a London-based asset management company with Johannesburg office. He currently serves as the Managing Partner and of the firm which specialises in prospecting investment opportunities in Africa.
Prior to this time, ETI’s newly-appointed Chairman was a Non-Executive Director at Laurent Perrier champagne between 1999 and 2009. He was also the Managing Director of Credit Suisse’s Global Macro Trading from 1995 to 2008. He held a similar role at JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Meanwhile, from 1989 to 1994, Nkontchou worked with Chemical Bank first in Paris and then New York. At the bank, he rose through the ranks to become the Vice- President, Head of Trading, and Sales. Apparently, he is an accomplished business executive.
Alain Nkontchou obtained an MSc in Electrical Engineering from Supélec and P.M. Curie University, Paris, and another MSc in Finance and Accounting from ESCP (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris).
It should be noted that ETI’s stock closed yesterday’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a share price of N4.80. The share price gained by +1.05% to appreciate from its previous close of N4.75. Year to date, ETI’s share price has declined by about 22%.