Partner local expertise to achieve an ‘Africa Beyond Aid’ -Exim Bank CEO tells India

The CEO of Ghana Exim Bank, Mr. Lawrence Kwabena Agyinsam, has implored the Indian government through Exim India Bank to endeavour partnering local expertise in the execution of projects in Africa toward an ‘Africa beyond Aid’.

He said this at the just-ended 13th Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)/Exim Bank of India Conclave held from 25th – 27th March 2018 in Delhi under the theme Partners in Development, Building New Synergies.

The CEO was one of the keynote speakers during a roundtable discussion on the topic Financing for India Investments in Africa.

Mr. Agyinsam urged the Indians to rely on local expertise when executing projects in Africa, since indigenes know the terrain and are best-placed to drive the continent’s rapid development.

He pointed out that it is imperative to partner local institutions so as to bring on board their know-how and ensure these projects become bankable projects.

He also touched on the mismatch in financing possibilities from India in relation to various projects available for financing in Africa and called for realignment of Exim India Bank’s financing offerings with various projects from African countries. On the same point, he entreated Exim India Bank to venture into other sectors of the economy, such as the manufacturing industry.

Using Ghana as a reference point, he indicated that one of government’s agendas – to take ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ – is an aggressive industrialisation strategy and for value addition to its raw materials, especially in agro-processing and manufacturing.

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He also charged them to conduct due diligence before executing projects to ensure efficiency, relevance and completion of projects.

He stated: “If Exim India finances a project and there is a change of government, and appraisals on the project by the current government raises issues of suspected corruption, no value for money, or questionable standards in executing the projects, it stalls the projects and interrupts continuity”.

The session was chaired by Export-Import Bank of India’s MD, David Rasquinha,Yonov F. Agah WTO’S Deputy Director General, AfDB’s head of Asia office, Tadashi Yokoyhama, Bassary Toure, Vice President West African Development Bank (BOAD), Bashir IFO President ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and others.

The conclave was attended by government officials from Ghana: namely Ghana’s High Commissioner to India, Mike Ocquaye Jnr; Samuel Atta-Akyea, Minister for Works and Housing; Mohammed Awal, Minister for Business Development; Andy Appiah-Kubie, Deputy Minister for Railway Development, and other heads and directors of key ministries and government agencies.

CII-Exim Bank conclave

The Cii-Exim Bank Conclave on India-Africa project partnerships was first held in 2005 for Indian and African governments as well as Industry to meet and explore new avenues for partnerships.

The annual gathering enables Indian and African leadership to take stock of their partnerships and address concerns and future needs.

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The CEO of GEXIM also expressed his appreciation to officials of Exim Bank of India for the technical cooperation currently ongoing with GEXIM.

Ghana Exim Bank

The Ghana Exim Bank was established by an Act of parliament in March 2016, to be the foremost government institution that drives Export – with the aim of adding value to our raw materials while creating employment and generating foreign exchange. The Bank commenced operations in November 2016.

As a move to support government’s ten-point agenda for industrial transformation toward job-creation and economic development, GExim has positioned itself as the principal financier for government’s flagship programme 1D1F. The Bank has so far approved US$20million to companies in the cassava and pineapple Industry.

In addition to the support for 1D1F, the Bank has embarked on a Grassroots Initiative Development Programme (GRID) to provide market advisory services and capacity building programmes aimed at skills development for inhabitants of rural communities.

The Grassroots Initiatives Development (GRID) Programme will cover the following initiatives: Coconut for All, Shea Butter, Kente, Mining Alternative Livelihood Initiative, Women in Export and Artisans in Export (Suame, Kokompe Metal Fabricators).

Notable within the GRID programme is The Mining Alternative Livelihood Initiative, which seeks to provide alternative employment mainly through sustainable agriculture for galamsey operators in a bid to curb the ills of illegal mining and boost land reclamation in affected areas.

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