Afreximbank President says Africa can meet $300 billion annual cost of development plan
Africa has the money to meet the estimated $300 billion annual cost required for the attainment of the 10-year plan under the African Union’s Agenda 2063, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has said.
Addressing guests at the World Youth Forum 2018 organised recently in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Prof. Oramah noted that Africa’s foreign exchange reserves currently stood at almost $500 billion and had consistently been above that figure until the commodity price shock in 2015/2016.
The continent also had about $800 billion under management by pension funds in the 12 African countries where the market was most developed, with that figure forecast to rise to $1.1 trillion by 2020, continued the President. In addition, Africa received $63 billion in migrant remittances annually, showing that the continent had more than $1 trillion that it could use to finance the $300 billion of investment that was required.
He said that the challenge was that the reserves were sitting outside Africa, earning little or nothing, and that when African countries tried to borrow the same money, they ended up paying very high rates.
Prof. Oramah said that the continent needed to look inward, asking, “Why can’t we do something about it? Why can’t we recycle some of our money? Why can’t we do what some of the Asian countries have done?”.
He announced that Afreximbank had attempted to answer those questions by giving itself an objective to raise $10 billion from Africa in five years to support its business. It had been surprised to have raised $5.7 billion in the first year.
The President said that Africa had to find a way to more effectively use the migrant revenue that was coming into the continent and highlighted the need to democratize investment opportunities in Africa. People should not look to governments alone to make investments but should bring in private money, he added.
President Oramah participated in a panel on “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want” and was joined by Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt; Arnauld Alndji, Minister of Equal Opportunities, Youth and Gabonese Abroad of Gabon; Evelyne Butoyi, Minister of Youth, Posts and Information Technologies of Burundi; and Gunter Nooke, Personal Representative of the German Chancellor for Africa.
The session was attended by President Abdel Fattah El Sissi of Egypt who delivered his final comments at the Forum after the session.
Shoukry participates in the panel discussion “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want” at the World Youth Forum
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Counselor Ahmed Hafez, stated that Minister Shoukry’s participation in the meeting takes place in light of Egypt’s keenness on the advancement of Africa and achieving comprehensive development in the continent.
Shoukry explained that the idea of “Agenda 2063” was initially launched when Heads of State and Government pledged during the AU Summit in 2013 to promote joint efforts in order to develop the African continent and achieve concrete progress in key areas related to inclusive development.
Hafez added that the Foreign Minister affirmed Egypt’s full commitment to supporting the implementation of the 2063 Agenda in the various fields, and particularly the related leading infrastructure projects aimed at achieving African integration.
In this context, he noted that the 2063 Agenda is a Pan-African ambitious and time-bound vision aimed at achieving a genuine breakthrough for the continent, explaining that Egypt spares no effort in order to implement the Agenda as the Egyptian President has launched Egypt’s Vision 2030 to achieve social justice for the Egyptian citizens, with the formation of a national committee to implement the 2063 Sustainable Development Agenda, headed by the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Egypt has already started the process of incorporating the objectives and projects of the African Agenda 2063 into its national strategy as the Ministry of Planning and Administrative Reform currently prepares an executive plan to integrate the objectives and programs of the Agenda, in cooperation with all the relevant ministries in this regard.
Moreover, the Spokesperson noted that, during the session, Shoukry tackled the social dimension of the 2063 Agenda, as he pointed out that the issues of empowering women and youth are considered the top priorities of the agenda, underscoring the need to empower youth, being the engine of the desired renaissance, especially as they constitute the majority of the continent's population.
Finally, Shoukry reviewed Egypt’s regional role in implementing the 2063 Agenda, while noting the country’s outstanding efforts in joint African action through its active participation in the pilot projects of the Development Agenda under its current membership in the African Union Troika. He also highlighted the serious national efforts in support for the agricultural and industrial sectors in increasing the employment rates in the continent through cooperation with the concerned international institutions and partners of Africa with a view to eradicating poverty.
In this regard, he praised the joint African steps taken to establish continental financial institutions such as the African Investment Bank, the African Stock Exchange, the African Monetary Fund, and the African Central Bank.