Africa: Afreximbank pushes at history’s wheel
As international banks continue to pull out of Africa, Afreximbank president, Benedict Oramah explains why African institutions need to be the main source of support for the continent in times of crisis.
|Benedict Oramah, president of Africa Export Import Bank
Africa has fallen into the one of the largest humanitarian crises in history. Widespread famine caused by conflict and drought has affected swathes of the continent, from Nigeria in the west to Somalia in the east.
“La Niña, which creates drier than normal weather conditions in equatorial east Africa, droughts in southern Africa and health epidemics in Africa – such as the Ebola crisis, which hit in early 2015 – has caused huge amounts of suffering and devastation throughout the continent,” says Benedict Oramah, president of Africa Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) in an interview with Euromoney from the bank’s head office in Cairo.
This is not an over-exaggeration. According to the UN, 20 million people in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria face starvation and famine.
Currency devaluations, foreign exchange shortages and rising debt levels in Africa have limited African governments’ ability to address humanitarian issues.
Africa’s natural resource exporters, reliant on revenue from oil, gas, gold, cocoa or other commodities to prop up their budgets, have suffered the most.