The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said that it is now time for Africa to start mobilization its own resources to finance its development agenda, a senior official said on Wednesday.
Jean-Louis Ekra, the bank’s president said at the start of its 21st group meeting on trade finance and export development in Africa that has preceded the bank’s annual general meeting to be held on Saturday, that mobilization of domestic resources was cardinal in order to tackle the development challenges facing the continent.
Africa, he said, has a lot of financial resources which could go a long way in enhancing development if properly harnessed, adding that the bank has identified a number of sources of internal financial resources which could be mopped up.
He cited pension funds as well as capital markets as some of the local sources of domestic funds which could be exploited to finance Africa’s development agenda.
The pension fund in most African countries has grown between 3 to 5 billion U.S. dollars in recent years, adding that mechanisms need to be created on how to mop up the resources from other internal sources for the development of the continent.
The official further said the volatility in commodity prices on the international market was a blessing in disguise which should give African countries an opportunity to intensify efforts in diversifying their economies.
He said it was unfortunate that many African countries were still depending on the export of raw materials which have not done much to improve the economies of the countries.
The bank was focused on adding value to Africa’s products as it was through value addition that jobs would be created and revenue for governments increased, he added.
Denny Kalyalya, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor said during the same occasion that mobilization of domestic resources was cardinal for Africa’s future development.
The Central Bank chief said foreign direct investment should just complement African local resources in helping the continent achieved increased economic development.
Afreximbank, headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, was established in 1993 as a pan-African export-import bank with a mandate to finance ad promote intra-African trade. It has 40 shareholders, including 34 African governments and central banks, and five regional and sub-regional institutions among them the African Development Bank. Enditem