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Fresh calls for united Africa to weather global shocks

Afreximbank senior executive vice president Denys Denya

Afreximbank senior executive vice president Denys Denya said Wednesday there is need for a united Africa in the context of Global Africa amid a deglobalised world.

In his opening remarks at Afreximbank’s 31st Annual Meetings and 3rd Afri-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum here in Nassau, The Bahamas, Denya said Global Africa "remains a periphery player in the world economic and finance spheres" despite the abolition of the slave trade.

"In an increasingly deglobalised world characterised by friend-shoring and nearshoring, with the key actors aiming at economic and political dominance, the need for a united Africa in the context of Global Africa is not only logical but indeed urgent," Denya said.

He said the global economy today is characterised by "intensification of nationalism" and a shift from the rules-based multilateral trading system.

"De-globalisation and related policy choices of the global North geared towards retaining global leadership have fractured the global trading system. Heightening geopolitical tensions and associated geoeconomic shifts, the rise in neo-protectionism underpinned by trade and technology wars as countries jostle for economic dominance has put a severe dent in multilateralism," he said.

The recurring shocks, Denya said,  continue to undermine the development aspirations of most developing nations, while at the same time the impact of climate change and extreme weather conditions are threatening to erode any economic gains achieved by developing nations.

"The recurring global shocks and associated liquidity constraints have left most developing economies at the mercy of creditors whose terms of lending appear designed to ensure that we continue the cycle of borrowing with dire implications for macroeconomic management and socio-economic development," he said.

Denya said Africa was less developed despite being endowed with vast mineral resources, accounting for about a third of the world's mineral reserves.

Regrettably, for a continent that is endowed with such an abundance of natural resources, the quest for sustainable development has been a perennial struggle, he said

Denya said the state of development across the Caribbean, while not identical, is not quite different from this narrative.

"It is in this context of sustained deprivation and marginalisation that we seek to unify our forces in the context of Global Africa for a better future," he said.

"In our unity, we have the numbers, a voice and strength to be at the table of decision-making. Our combined imagination and resources should create a viable force with a competitive edge."

The 31st Annual Meetings and 3rd Afri-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum is running under the theme, Owning our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa.

Afreximbank has been pushing to expand into the Caribbean in line with its Diaspora Strategy and the African Union’s designation of the African Diaspora as the continent’s sixth region.

Eleven out of the 15 CARICOM states have signed the Afreximbank partnership agreement.

The pan African bank approved a US$1,5bn for the Caribbean which will double to US$3bn once all the remaining States sign the agreement.

A pipeline of US$2,4bn has been built with St Lucia getting the first Afreximbank facility early this year. Last year, Caribbean Development Bank became the first shareholder of Afreximbank from CARICOM region.

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