Afreximbank, Govt. of Bahamas sign host country agreement

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By Okeoghene Akubuike

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on Thursday signed the Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) Host Country Agreement.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the signing ceremony was held during a media briefing on Thursday in the Bahamas.

NAN reports that the 31st AAM2024 will be hosted in Nassau, Bahamas, from June 12 to 15, 2024 with the theme “Owning Our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa.”

Philip Davis, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, in his remarks, said the signing ceremony was an important boost for the Bahamas and Africa and the Caribbean (AfriCarabian) visions.

“It is with immense pride that we officially sign the agreement for the Bahamas to host the AAM in June.

“Our ancestral history is marked by strength in the face of adversity, duty and creativity amid scarcity and the pursuit of self-determination.

“Our dreams, hopes and aspirations are encapsulated in this moment as we look forward to a future where Africa and the Caribbean stand shoulder to shoulder not just in solidarity but for economic collaboration for mutual prosperity.”

Davis said the AAM2024 meeting in the Bahamas was a symbol of what Africa and the Caribbean could accomplish through duty and collaboration.

“ In today’s world amid economic and environmental challenges, instead of building more walls, we choose to build bridges of trade, innovation, financial integration and most importantly bridges connecting our people and culture.

He said the Bahama’s commitment to the mission was underscored by the preparations underway to ensure the AGM stood as a forum for dialogue and impact deliberations and collaborations.

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“ We are setting the stage for discussions to aid us in navigating the challenges of our times which include inclusivity, and the digital transformation of our economy.

“For the bank and our partners, we extend our deepest gratitude for entrusting us with the honour of hosting this significant event.

“Together we are celebrating the spirit of partnership, economic union of dreams, dreams of our ancestors and dreams of future generations that we pledge to realise through unity, collaboration and mutual respect.”

Davis said that in November 2022 The Bahamas and  other Caribbean countries signed an agreement with AFreximbank to forge a future for the advancement of the African and Caribbean people and their economies.

The prime minister said Afreximbank’s commitment to expanding operations in the Caribbean was seen in its establishment of the Caribbean Africa Bank, adding that it was an example of potential for development in the region.

“ As we come for the meetings, it will be remembered for the decisions made and agreements signed but also more significantly as Africa and the Caribbean came together for a better future,” he said.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman Board of Directors, Afreximbank, said the signing of the agreement would solidify the partnership between Afreximbank and the Caribbean.

Oramah said the partnership would form a platform for global Africa to take its destiny into its hands.

He said he was grateful to the prime minister, the government and the people of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas for the honour of agreeing to host the AAM2024.

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“ By holding the 31st AAM, we collectively make a strong commitment to elevating the collaboration between the Afreximbank, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the entire Caribbean region to a higher pedestal.

“It bears testament to the depth of your government’s appreciation of the importance of our unique partnership in catalysing shared growth and prosperity for all of Africa and the Caribbean.

“It affirms commitment to ensure inclusiveness and bring the bank’s services to the doorsteps of the people.

“Bringing the meeting to the Caribbean also offers us the opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made so far between Africa and the Caribbean.”

Oramah said the bank was working with the government of the Bahamas to develop an Afro-Caribbeann marketplace in the Bahamas.

He said, when completed, it would be a permanent marketplace that would house manufacturing warehouses, and be a distribution and logistic hub for various tradable merchandise that Africa and the Caribbean would produce.

“It will finally establish the Bahamas as a gateway into the Caribbean and we hope the government will work with us diligently to bring this project to completion.”

Oramah said no fewer than 4,000 participants were expected at the AAM2024 adding that the opening ceremony would be held on June 13, which would be attended by Heads of State and Heads of governments.

He said others in attendance at the meetings would be African/Caribbean leaders and senior government officials, African and non-African policymakers, corporate leaders, bankers, academics and other thought leaders.

Oramah said there would be keynote presentations by policymakers and economists and a dedicated session to showcase trade and investment opportunities in the Caribbean and the Bahamas as well as sessions on youths, innovations and the creatives.

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He said the 3rd Annual AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024) will be incorporated into the AAM2024. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Vivian Ihechu

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