The Sunday Mail
Levi Mukarati in ACCRA, Ghana
PRESIDENT MNANGAGWA is expected in Ghana today, where he will join continental and Caribbean leaders for the 30th African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) meetings.
His participation symbolises Zimbabwe’s strong support for the multilateral financial institution, which is currently constructing a multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art regional centre in Harare.
The facility will house a trade data centre, technology incubation hub and hotel.
It represents one of the Second Republic’s key milestones in attracting investment in infrastructure development.
Earlier in March, President Mnangagwa signed the Establishment Agreement for the Fund for Export Development in Africa, a subsidiary of Afreximbank focusing on the continent’s growth.
In Ghana, the President is scheduled to attend a series of meetings focusing on initiatives to further facilitate trade and socio-economic development among African/Caribbean nations.
“Ghana President Nana Akufo Addo will lead a set of high-profile leaders, including Heads of State and Government, former Heads of State, business leaders, African trade practitioners and trade finance experts scheduled to address participants at the meetings,” said Afreximbank in a statement.
Notable figures drawn from other sectors include former African Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr Donald Kaberuka; secretary-general of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat Wamkele Mene; and African Union Commission commissioner for economic development trade, industry and minerals, Ambassador Albert Muchanga. The meetings also draw participation from top African businesspeople — including Dangote Group chairperson Aliko Dangote, Econet Global and Cassava Technologies founder Strive Masiyiwa and Whitaker Group president Adam Molai.
“Some of the topics listed for discussion include turbocharging implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement; building prosperity for Africans; challenges for peace and security; overcoming challenges of food security for sustainable development in Africa; African culture and literature as a foundation for continental renaissance and the future for integration in Africa,” added the statement. The meetings also celebrate three decades since the bank launched a bold initiative in pursuit of financing and advising African/Caribbean nations on development.
They come at a time Afreximbank has launched a bid to support a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System, after its adoption by the African Union as an alternative transacting mode to the United States dollar, to underpin implementation of the AfCFTA.
The meetings, which are ranked amongst most important gatherings of economic decision-makers in Africa, come as Africans are pushing for home-grown solutions to problems faced by the continent.
Afreximbank is a multilateral financial institution mandated to finance intra- and extra-African trade in a bid to accelerate the continent’s industrialisation drive.
The bank has disbursed nearly US$90 billion between 2016 and 2022 to support trade and development in Africa. The 30th annual meetings, which end on Wednesday, are being held under the theme “Delivering the vision. Building prosperity for Africans”.