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Afreximbank: We’re Working Hard to Enhance Trade Among African Countries

Afreximbank VP Kanayo Awani says Africa can boost its trade for a shared prosperity among countries within the continent.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has said it is working hard to not only enhance trade among African countries, but also simplify it for the economic benefit of all member nations.

The Executive Vice President of the bank, Mrs Kanayo Awani stated this at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, at the weekend, during the inaugural lecture series of the International Center for Regional Integration and Trade Research, in the university, which was sponsored by the bank.

Awani who was the guest lecturer spoke on the Theme: ‘Unlocking Africa Trade for Shared Prosperity Through the AfCFTA: Challenges, Prospects and Opportunities, said the bank has devised several platforms to simplify trade among African countries.

Awani said the theme of the maiden lecture was apt, considering the interconnectedness of the world today, adding that African can boost its trade for a shared prosperity among countries within the continent.

She said: “This is apt and timely. Just a few years ago the world was witnessing a pandemic; the COVID 19 pandemic. There was supply chain disruption which caused food shortage across the world.

“Today too, some countries are facing shortage of grains because of the Russian-Ukrainian war, this has widely demonstrated that a well structured intra-continental trade can be of benefit to Africa.

“At Afreximbank, we have made policies and created several platforms to enhance trade among African countries, and we have been sensitizing countries on the need to take advantage of this.”

Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, Prof Eric Ofoegbu, a professor of mathematics in the university described the lecture as timely, coming at a time when the Nigeria is thinking of a way to enhance its trade and beat down the dollar, as a way to strengthen the naira.

“The Lecture Series came at a point when there is great need for us (as an entity) to break away from bondage of operating only in a “Closed System” that is about suffocating us. it came at an epoch in history when it is inevitable to think out of the box in order to embrace Economic and Financial freedom that awaits us outside the box. 

“The current trend in our society as it concerns economic instability is an eye opener. Being salary earners hoping only on our monthly emoluments without thinking about how to genuinely attract extra financial supplements may end us up in man-made squalor and misery in the midst of plenty.  

“In terms of making beautiful and wonderful policies, we are seemingly on top; but when it comes to implementation, everything takes an unimaginable direction. 

“It is my hope and belief that whatever level of partnership and collaboration this gathering will usher in, shall be an enduring and sustainable one, and shall be beneficial to all concerned. Whatever agreement that will be reached at the end shall not be in paper only, but shall be kept in tangible view for all concerned to see.”

Director of International Center for Regional Integration and Trade Research, Prof Ngozi Egbuna in an opening address said: “Trading is what we all do as individuals and between nations and it bonds relationships between nations engendering regional integration and cooperation for peace, stability and the creation of wealth.

“As Africa and Nigeria march on towards the actualization of the African continental free Trade Area AfCFTA agenda, it is a critical step toward sustainable and inclusive development that will provide solutions to Africa’s perennial economic problems.”

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