Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, welcoming the President of the African Export-Import Bank, Professor Benedict Oramah, and his delegation to Barbados. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Professor Benedict Oramah, is on a four-day visit to Barbados.

Professor Oramah, who is here from September 27 to 30, was met at the Grantley Adams International Airport last night by Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, and Permanent Secretary in that Ministry, Nancy Headley.

During Professor Oramah’s visit, he will have discussions with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and her team, where they will explore possible areas of cooperation. 

In addition, he will sign a Memorandum of Understanding; meet with the CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Carla Barnett; President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon; youth ambassadors, and the private sector, among other activities.

Mr. Straughn underscored the importance of the visit, explaining that Barbados and CARICOM were keen to establish a relationship with Afreximbank. 

“We want to open up investment opportunities for not just Barbadian businesses, but certainly those from Africa.  In addition, we will discuss the possibility of Barbados becoming the hub for Afreximbank in this region, especially since this country has been making significant strides to improve relations with Africa.

“For example, Barbados recently opened High Commissions in Ghana and Kenya, and is expected to establish a Consulate General in Morocco. Additionally, Government is committed to fostering strong bilateral relations with Arab States and the opening of our Embassy in the United Arab Emirates demonstrates that determination.  Therefore, strong relations with Afreximbank is the next logical step,” Mr. Straughn stated.

He noted that in 2020, the Afreximbank greatly assisted Barbados in signing on to the African Medical Supplies Platform to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.  

Ms. Mottley, as Chair-In-Office of the joint World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund Development Committee, invited Professor Oramah to Barbados to discuss matters of mutual interest.

The African Export-Import Bank is a Pan-African multilateral trade finance institution, with the mandate of financing and promoting intra and extra African trade. 

It was established in 1993, and is owned by African governments, the African Development Bank, and other African multilateral financial institutions, as well as African and non-African public and private investors. 

The bank is located in Cairo, Egypt.

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