Afreximbank president Benedict Oramah has won the Forbes Africa 2023 Person of the Year gong, a recognition of the stellar accomplishments of leading Africans to the development of the continent, the magazine has said.
“With a career spanning three decades at Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah is a true pan-Africanist,” said Renuka Methil, Forbes Africa’s managing editor.
“In our almost hour-long interview Prof. Oramah’s stellar history, coupled with his unbridled enthusiasm, passion, and contribution to the economic development of Africa shone through.
“Among the many initiatives under his visionary leadership, Afreximbank launched the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System which will be a historic project for cross-border payments in local African currencies. He is a resilient risk-taker and articulated so well what a new united Africa should, and would, look like.”
Nominations for Forbes Africa Person of The Year are submitted by members of the magazine’s editorial and research teams, including journalists from its bureaus across Africa, and a winner is selected after an Africa-wide review of the prominent contributors to the continent. Oramah was shortlisted and unanimously judged the winner for 2023.
With the award, Oramah joins a prestigious list of high achievers who had previously received the award, including Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Group; Akinwumi Adesina, president, African Development Bank; Aliko Dangote, CEO, Dangote Group; Mohammed Dewji, president, MeTL Group; and Thuli Madonsela, former public protector of South Africa.
The Forbes award comes barely a month after the Afreximbank chief received the Zik Prize in Professional Leadership at an event in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also the recipient of other awards for his contributions to the development and promotion of trade in Africa, and for the several initiatives he has championed to drive intra-African trade.
The trade finance expert has been leading from the front in driving intra-African trade. This saw Afreximbank, working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the African Union Commission, establishing the intra-African Trade Fair (IATF). The third edition of IATF was held in Cairo, Egypt from November 9 to 15.
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IATF2023 had deals signed valued at US$43,8 billion up from the targeted US$43 billion.
The organisers said the amount represented the value of 426 deals concluded in 21 sectors.
Thirty countries participated at IATF2023. It attracted 1,939 exhibitors and 28,282 participants who attended physically and through the IATF virtual platform.