The President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Dr. Benedict Oramah has been conferred with the Leadership Award of New York Universityâ€™s (NYU) Africa House as the institute celebrated its biennial gala.
The award was presented to him in New York.
Presenting the award to him, the Director of the Africa House, Prof.Â Yaw Nyarko, said Oramahwas chosen because of hisÂ contributions in promoting intra-African trade andindustrialisationÂ in AfricaÂ as well asÂ forÂ helping to steer the continent away from traditional economic models where growth had been primarily driven by export of primary commodities and natural resources.
Nyarko noted that,Â under Oramahâ€™s leadership,Â AfreximbankÂ had witnessed outstanding financial performance, with that the asset base increasing significantly and the balance sheet doubling to reach $12 billion.
Â In his acceptance, the Afreximbank president said he was dedicating the award to the staff of the Bank and to its past executives.
â€œAs I receive this hugely significant award, I can announce that I am African and proud, because, despite the Afro-pessimism that was at its height during the time the Bank was created, it has contributed in lifting intra-African trade five-fold from $28 billion in 1994 to some $130 billion in 2017,â€Â he said.
He described various initiatives the Bank had launched in pursuit of Africaâ€™s transformation, noting that it was supporting the creation of large light manufacturing capacities across the continent, with about 3,000 hectares of industrial parks and export processing zones under development.
Â Oramah added that the Bank was financing the development of logistics infrastructure and testing, inspection and certification centres across Africa in order to increase the exportability and competitiveness of African industrial products.
Â He announced that the Bank disbursed more than $9 billion, on a revolving basis from 2015 to 2016, in order to assist many African economies, cope with the devastating commodity price shocks.
Africa House organises the Leadership Awards to celebrate its achievements, progress, and vision for the future and to honour individuals and organisations that embody its spirit and values.
Afreximbank and the NYU Africa House plan to collaborate in research projects, especially those focusedÂ on expanding understanding of the African transnational Diaspora and exploring the opportunities that exist in increasing Diaspora involvement in trade and investment promotion across Africa.
Â Also honoured during the ceremony were former President of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete; Chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, Prof. Deborah; and renowned architect and educator, J. Max Bond, who was honoured posthumously, among others.