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Global Financial Architecture can Change when we take the Initiative to do so – Hon Abena Osei-Asare

Hon Abena Osei-Asare, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance has stated that the current global financial architecture can only be changed when Africans, particularly governments and financial institutions take the initiative to effect the change through collaboration and a united front.

“Many have pointed to the inherent biases in the global economic order as obstacles to our efforts. However, reforming the global economic architecture is deeply linked to us taking control of our destiny. This requires us to harness the spirit of unity and collaboration to ensure that our economic progress is driven by our aspirations and not merely as an incidental outcome of the economic goals of others.

The Minister of State was delivering the opening remarks, as the chairperson at the 31st Annual Meetings (AAM) of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the 3rd AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF), which are taking place jointly in Nassau, The Bahamas, under the theme, “Owning Our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa”.

She proposed that governments and the private sector to work with cohesion and a united sense of purpose to ensure that efforts by the AU to reposition African Financial Institions under the Africa Club initiative is achieved to reshape the destiny of Global Africa.

The Africa Club an initiative under H E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the AU essentially aims to bring member financial institutions together to find solutions to financing challenges and help support Africa’s sustainable economic development and integration objectives. The ultimate aim is to bring a change to the global financial architecture.

On global Africa, Hon Osei-Asare commended the AfreximBank for holding the annual meetings in the Bahamas and making the African Carribean Trade and Investment Forum an integral part of the annual meetings and called for more efforts to strengthen the linkages between Africa and the Carribea.

“This forum promoted by the Afreximbank seeks to strengthen the ties between the private sectors of our two regions to advance trade, investment and  economic transformation…Our shared ancestry requires us to unite and to build enduring prosperity for this and the next generations of Global Africans”

Hon Abena Osei-Assre also commended Afreximbank for the impressive financial performance which has culminated in improved dividend earnings and, more importantly, impactful projects for Africans globally.

She said the impressive results of the Afreximbank highlights the need for strong African institutions and underscores the importance of continued suport to such institutions and safe gaurding their success.

“Countercyclical and strategic investments {from the Bank} have been vital in enabling countries to weather the recent perfect storm of cascading crises. Such is the value of a dynamic multilateral African development institution. And is another reason not to only inject capital, but jealously guard its success,” she said

Afreximbank net income went up by by 66 percent to US$756.1 million in 2023, a significant increase from US$455.3 million achieved the previous year. Shareholders’ equity grew robustly by 17.55 percent to US$6.1 billion, bolstered by US$349.8 million in new equity contributions.

The Minister of State disclosed that based on these impressive performance, the Board is proposing to give some of its profit to shareholders through a dividend declaration of US$264.6 million, up from the US$159.3 million declared last year.

She called on shareholders and all stakeholders to do everything to empower Afreximbank whose potential she described as “limitless” to propel global Africa to meet its rightful destiny.

The meeting, the first to be held in the Carribean,  and the third time it is being held outside Africa brought together over 2000 delegates including a record 25 heads of states and governments, including H E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Other speakers at the opening ceremony include Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Benedict Oramah, President  and Chairman of the Afreximbank.

AAM and ACTIF are attended by business and political leaders, banking industry professionals, trade and trade finance practitioners and other parties involved in economic development from across Africa, the Caribbean and beyond. The Meetings, which have been ranked among the most important gatherings of economic decision makers in Africa and CARICOM.