Washington, D.C., 17 Oct. 2019: – Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), today in Washington, D.C., received the 2019 Man of the Year Award from Diaspora Today magazine and the African Diaspora Distinguished Leadership Award of Prince Georges County of Maryland, United States.
Presenting the two awards, Angela Alsobrooks, Prince Georges County Executive, said that they were in celebration of Prof. Oramah’s achievements and contributions toward the development of the African continent.
She also referenced Prof. Oramah’s “unique, excellent and very impressive leadership style in managing the activities, events and developmental programmes of Afreximbank across Africa and all over the globe”.
In his acceptance speech, Prof. Oramah said that he saw the awards as a call to action given the many tasks that remained to be accomplished to develop Africa.
He commended the contribution of the African Diaspora to the continent’s development, saying that, should the collective African Diaspora be regarded as the 56th African state, it would rank top in terms of “GDP” and would have an estimated GDP of over 500 billion US dollars and GDP per capita significantly higher than Africa’s average.
According to him, with more than 30 million Africans living outside their home countries and remitting about $63 billion and saving another $53 billion annually, the Diaspora has become an intra-African trade resource.
He argued that that the African Diaspora must be brought into intra-African trade in order to deepen the dynamism of that trade. Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Strategy, launched in May 2016, was part of the effort to address that challenge.
A key component of that strategy was the broadening intra-African trade to Include the Diaspora, he said. In that regard, the Bank was supporting the growth of businesses operated by the African Diaspora by providing working capital finance to import ethnic foods and other tradable goods from African markets.
Also receiving awards at the ceremony were Baffour Adjei Bawuah, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, and Zoe Leoudaki, a television producer and reporter at the Voice of America.
The award ceremony was organised by Diaspora Today Magazine, one of the leading publications targeting the African Diaspora in the United States.
Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah assumed the position of President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in September 2015. Prior to his current role, he was the Executive Vice President in charge of for Business Development and Corporate Banking (BDCB), a position he occupied from October 2008 to September 2015.
As Executive Vice President, Prof. Oramah supervised the Business Development functions, namely: Trade Finance, Project and Export development finance, Syndications and Specialized Finance (SSF), and Corporate Finance and Advisory Services (CFAS). He also supervised the Research and Knowledge Management Functions of the Bank.
Further, he assisted the then President of the Bank in overseeing the Bank’s Strategic Planning and International Cooperation functions.
Prof. Oramah joined Afreximbank as Chief Analyst in 1994 and was promoted to the position of Senior Director, Planning and Business Development in 2007. Prior to joining Afreximbank, he held the position of Assistant Research Manager at the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) from 1992 to 1994.
Prof. Oramah holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. Degrees in Agricultural Economics obtained in 1987 and 1991 respectively from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He obtained a B.Sc. degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1983. He has published a book on “Foundations of Structured Trade Finance” and has written over 35 articles on a wide range of African economic, trade and trade finance issues.
He is a regular speaker at several trades and finance conferences around the world. Prof. Oramah is Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of the International Factors Group (IFG). He serves on the Board of IFG, the Editorial Boards of Trade and Forfaiting Review (TFR) and the Journal of African Trade (JAT), and is a member of the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO).
He is married and has three children.