Activities marking the 21st Annual General Meeting of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) opened in Libreville on Wednesday with a call on African countries to restructure their national economies in order to achieve the sustainable economic development of the continent.
“The sustainable growth and development of Africa’s economies is not possible without the restructuring of the national economies,” said Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Afreximbank, in an address during the opening of the 20th meeting of the Bank’s Advisory Group on Trade Finance and the Export Development in Africa.
Such restructuring could be achieved through the development of industrial clusters and supply chains at the national and sub-regional levels to support the diversification and sustainable development of the continent’s exports, continued Mr. Ekra.
He said that because many African countries depend on the production and export of primary commodities with little value added and there were limited links between the industries and other sectors of the economy, Africa’s main challenge was to ensure that its recent impressive growth translated into an accelerated structural transformation for the sustainable development of its national economies.
Declaring the meeting open, Marcelin Agaya, Vice Minister for the Economy of Gabon, urged regional development finance institutions and regional economic communities in Africa take proactive measures for the desired economic restructuring that would make Africa even more attractive to foreign investors.
“In that regard, Afreximbank should persist in its effort to at promoting and financing intra and extra-African trade,” he said.
Today’s meeting of the Advisory Group featured presentations under the theme, “From Asian Tigers to African Simbas: Potentials and processes for Africa’s economic transformation.”
The meeting tomorrow would be on “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture for the global markets” while on Friday it will focus on Tourism for Development. An investment forum will take place on Friday before the Annual General Meeting will be rounded off on Saturday with a meeting of the Bank’s shareholders.