Afreximbank’s Benedict Oramah – ‘The ratings agencies looked down on us’

By Joël Té-Léssia Assoko, special correspondent in Bridgetown, Barbados
Posted on Friday, 16 September 2022 11:32, updated on Saturday, 17 September 2022 09:46

Afreximbank President Benedict Okey Oramah
Afreximbank President Benedict Okey Oramah (photo: Afreximbank)

The head of Afreximbank Benedict Oramah has revolutionised the pan-African institution, serving up an ambitious vision of the continent's future. With the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the committed pan-Africanist he has found a new engine for his group.

One day earlier, Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley had proclaimed him an “icon and hero” for his “vision” and leadership in organising the first Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum (#Actif2022) in Bridgetown, 1-3 September 2022.

In the garden of Ilaro Court, her official residence, Barbados’ head of government – who in November 2021 kicked Elizabeth II and the Windsors out of the island’s constitutional order by making it a republic – declared Afreximbank president Benedict Oramah  “a citizen of the Caribbean community”. He gave us this interview in a refined room at the majestic Sandy Lane Hotel, a stone’s throw from the One Sandy Lane complex, where the singer Rihanna resides when she visits Barbados.