Saturday, April 13, 2024

Caribbean leaders to address Afreximbank meeting

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Accra, Ghana – Several leaders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will deliver speeches or address panel discussions as the African Export-Import Bank holds its 30th annual meeting from Sunday to Tuesday.

The anniversary celebration, under the theme “Delivering the Vision, Building Prosperity for Africans”, is the first gathering of Global Africa – a people with shared identity and aspirations, the host nation said.

“We welcome to our annual meetings for the first time Caribbean states who have joined the Afreximbank partner states. We also welcome the large African diaspora, as well as friends of Africa from all over the world,” Professor Benedict Oramah, president and chairman of the Board of Directors Afreximbank, said in a welcome note.

On Monday, the meeting will focus on “Delivering the Vision – An Overview and Refreshment of the Vision” and Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Chair of CARICOM, Philip Davis will deliver remarks at the official opening ceremony on behalf of the 15-member regional bloc.

Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley will deliver the keynote address on Monday at a plenary session focusing on “A New Middle Passage by Africans for Africans – Strengthening Interconnectivity between Africa and its Diaspora for Shared Prosperity”.

Gervase Warner, president and CEO, Massy Group and chair of the CARICOM Private Sector Organisation, will join other industry leaders from across Africa on a panel focusing on the theme of Mottley’s address.

Also on Monday, a heads of state and government panel will discuss “Delivering the Vision: The Benefits of Strong Continental Financial Institutions”.

President of Guyana, Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Prime Minister of St Vincent and Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, will sit on a panel that will discuss “Shape the Future on the Platform of Lessons from History – Reflections from Africa and the Caribbean”.

The panel will be moderated by Altovise Munnings of Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas (ZNS).

Monday’s activities will focus on “The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as the Path to Economic Transformation in a Changing World.

On the opening day of the meeting, on Sunday, Kerrie Symmonds, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade of Barbados, will speak on a panel discussing “Turbo-Charging Implementation of the AfCFTA”.

Other panelists will include leaders in business, trade and industry across Africa, such as Yves Fernand Manfoumbi, minister of trade and industry of Gabon and chair of African Ministers of Trade and Industry.

On Tuesday, the final day of the meeting, discussion will focus on the overarching theme “Delivering Prosperity Through Industrialisation”.

Rodinald Soomer, Chief Executive Officer, CARICOM Development Fund and Kevin Greenidge, Governor, Central Bank of Barbados, will be among panelists discussing “United We Stand: Deploying AfriCaribbean Resources for Sustainable Development – Perspectives from Monetary Authorities”.

Meanwhile, in his host country’s welcome note, Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Minister for Finance, said Afreximbank has a proven track record in delivering strategic and impactful trade and development finance to Africa.

He said the bank’s interventions have undoubtedly touched the 1.4 billion people on the African continent.

“We celebrate a Bank that continues to stand by our government and governments across Africa during the most challenging times, delivering timely interventions that cushion our economies against external shocks,” Ofori-Atta said.

“As the continent begins its economic recovery, Afrieximbank must be leveraged as a critical anchor for creating well-diversified, integrated and resilient national economies that are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.” (CMC)

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