Afereximbank a global partnership established in October 1993 as a Pan-African Exim-Bank with authorized share capital of $750 million yesterday sensitized both the public and private sectors of the availability and accessibility of its operations at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex at Kingtom.
In his opening statement at the sensitization workshop which was organised by the Bank of Sierra Leone in collaboration with commercial banks, Bank Governor- Dr Samura Kamara said, “the African Export-Import Bank, based in Cario, Egypt is an international export and import bank… which has a broad objective of promoting internal and external African trade.”
Afereximbank, he said owe its origin to ADB, adding that “the Bank of Sierra Leone is a founder member of Afereximbank, holding in the bank 200 shares with nominal value of $ 2.0 million.”
“The Bank thought it prudent to organize this workshop for the following reasons: [firstly was] to actualize the president’s vision who has placed a lot of premium on promoting the private sector which is widely accepted as the engine of growth; [secondly] to underscore the Bank of Sierra Leone’s crucial role in actualizing the vision of the government in developing the private sector which is characterized by an acute foreign exchange gap and [finally] to leverage support from other institutions, by bringing them together to support the private sector in Sierra Leone,” he explained. The Governor explained that the high level of poverty and slow employment growth in the formal sector have forced a large proportion of the population into adopting sub-optimal coping mechanism, mainly self employment and informal sector activities in the private sector. “Small and medium size enterprises are dominant, employing and reaching over 7% of the population and contributing to external growth at levels much below potential capacity,” he said. With optimism, the Governor stated, “I believe that this workshop will add value to these initiatives but more specifically towards promoting a vibrant and viable private sector that will serve as catalyst in the growth and development of the economy.”
In his elaborate 60 slide presentation titled: ‘The Trade Finance Bank for Africa’ Afereximbank Assistant Director Planning and Business Development, Dr Francis Mbroh presented the mission, mandate, objectives, shareholding structure, governance structure, programmes and facilities of the Afereximbank.
Dr Mbroh noted, “Our business is not driven personally by financial consideration it is a development entity.”
He disclosed that in terms of specific cost for their services, “I cannot tell you, it’s purely on case to case basis,” he said.
By Ophaniel Gooding