Heads of State, Ministers discuss economic prosperity at Afreximbank meetings


Heads of State, Ministers, government officials, and renowned captains of industry have gathered at the 31st African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Annual Meetings (AAM) in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The meetings, holding from June 12 to June 15, would be hosting no fewer than 2,000 delegates, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The theme of the Annual Meetings is ‘Owning our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa.’

The three-day event is taking place jointly with the 3rd AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF).

‘This is in recognition of the increasingly closer linkages between Africa and the Caribbean and the movement towards a Global Africa uniting Africans, their diaspora, and descendants worldwide.

‘The first day of the Meetings called to strengthen the linkages between Africa and the Caribbean, the sixth region of the African Union.

‘These meetings are considered crucial for economic decision-makers in Africa and the Caribbean and are covered by the African, Carib
bean, and international media,’ Vincent Musumba, Afreximbank’s Manager, Communications and Events (Media Relations), said in a statement.

Mr John Rolle, Governor, Central Bank of The Bahamas, in his welcome remarks, encouraged the attendees to capitalise on the opportunities to learn, share, and network.

Rolle mentioned that the Caribbean could benefit from learning more about the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) from Africa.

He said that with support from Afreximbank, the Central Banks across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) could work towards replicating that system.

‘A successful project in the Caribbean could keep us on pace to deliver on targets that are already being set for an international payment system.

‘A system that even at the retail level, is more integrated, faster, and significantly cheaper for the average consumer.

‘If we perfect the multilateral cross-border payments and settlements arrangement, it could also help us to conserve the use of precious international rese
rves, especially if we expand intra-regional trade.’

Also, Mr Denys Denya, Senior Executive Vice-President, Afreximbank, said the AAM and ACTIF2024 were a reunion of all Africans in the context of Global Africa.

Denyal said the meetings would also help shape the shared vision and aspirations of the Caribbean region and Africa.

‘For a continent that is endowed with such an abundance of natural resources, the quest for sustainable development has been a perennial struggle.

‘It is in this context of sustained deprivation and marginalisation, that we seek to unify our forces in the context of Global Africa for a better future.

‘ In our unity, we have the numbers, we have the voice to sit at the table when decisions are made. We are a viable force to influence global decisions.’

Similarly, Asa Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre, emphasised the significant trade potential between Africa and the Caribbean, projecting trade to reach 1.8 million dollars annually by 2028.

Coke-H
amilton suggested it was time to explore establishing a free trade area between Africa and the Caribbean.

‘Trade agreements are one way to help bring down barriers and open new opportunities.’

During a session on ‘Building Resilience in an Era of Globalisation,’ Dr Roger Ferguson, Former Vice Chair, Federal Reserve, emphasised the importance of developing diverse and flexible systems to respond to challenges.

Dr Donald Kaberuka Chairman/ Managing Partner of SouthBridge Group emphasised the importance of countries learning to manage crises rather than treating them as unique situations.

Kaberuka, Former President, African Development Bank Group said this during the first plenary session, on ‘Navigating Economic Transformation in a Poly-Crisis World.’

Also, Prof. Jeffery Sachs, Senior Lecturer in Economics, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University of Rotterdam, said that in the face of stiff competition internationally, Africa must unite.

‘You cannot operate in this world as a s
mall country. Even the small countries that are successful are part of somebody’s world.

‘ Africa is too big to be part of somebody’s world. It’s got to be Africa as a fundamental pillar of the world scene.’

Source: News Agency of Nigeria