Prof. Benedict Oramah, President/Chairman, Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has proposed the creation of a Domestic Financial System that would allow Africa to develop, prosper and earn respect.
He made the proposal at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Lecture with the theme: “Unlocking the Constraints to Africa’s Economic Transformation: Insights into the Power of Capital’’, on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to him, Africa may be rich in natural resources, however, leveraging those who control the capital required to bring them to market determine wealth.
He said: “it is, therefore, important that we build a Domestic Financial System that welcomes foreign banks but which, as a deliberate policy, must have the strong participation of Africa-owned banks.’’
The Afreximbank boss said, however, that why there was a need to welcome foreign banks, the space must not be completely ceded to them if we (Africans) hoped to drive development in our desired direction.
Oramah questioned why Africans were still hooked on grants and begging all the time, despite over 60 years of independence.
He also wondered why Africa’s money was being spent outside Africa and by whom.
He said although Africa had about 500 billion dollars, which is about half of Africa’s external debts today, stashed away in foreign banks but the same countries (African countries) could not borrow from the same foreign banks holding the resources.
He said the excuses of compliance complication and country risk constraints that were hardly mentioned when the funds were being deposited, had made it impossible for Africans to borrow from the same foreign banks holding the resources.