The Board of Directors for the Ghana Export-Import Bank (GEXIM) has been inaugurated. Established by the Ghana Export-Import Bank Act 2016 (Act 911), GEXIM is the primary vehicle through which government seeks to attain a feasible and sustainable export-led economy.
The nine-member Board remains largely unchanged, with the exception of the of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) President, Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankwawoso I, making way for the Chief Executive Officer of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Nana Osei Bonsu.
Those serving for a second term include Board Chair and experienced business executive Kwadwo Boateng Genfi; Chief Executive Officer, Lawrence Agyinsam; Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi; and Chief Executive of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Dr. Afua Asabea Asare.
Other members of the Board are the Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Elsie Addo Awadzi; Managing Director of PEGMA Ventures, Rev. Peter Kwame Abebrese; and private sector representative Catherine Quaidoo.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, the Minister of State for Finance, Charles Adu-Boahen, lauded GEXIM for its role as the primary financing institution for government’s Accelerated Industrialisation Programme – One District, One Factory (1D1F).
He also expressed optimism that as the nation recovers from the social and economic downturns occasioned by the ongoing pandemic, GEXIM will focus its attention “on outward growth strategies and take strategic steps which will drive the country’s export expansion agenda, in order to reverse the contraction of US$7.4billion we witnessed during the first-half of 2020”.
Strategic development partnerships
Mr. Boahen tasked GEXIM, through its board, to form ‘strategic partnerships with key stakeholders – one of which is the impending Ghana Development Bank. “This opens a new opportunity for GhanaExim to build strategic partnerships with the Development Bank for financing and rolling out innovative pipeline projects that will drive Ghana’s import substitution initiatives and export promotion programmes,” he said.
The minister also urged the bank to collaborate with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), saying the physical proximity of their respective offices will translate into initiatives that build SME capacity, increase access to international markets, and create more employment opportunities for willing and able young persons.
“We expect constructive collaborations between the two institutions toward creating funding programmes that will benefit SMEs, leading to the export of high-quality Ghanaian products and services to other African countries.”
On his part, Board Chairman Kwadwo Boateng Genfi thanked the president for the confidence reposed in the members, while pledging to achieve the set targets. “As the leading financial institution supporting government’s 1D1F initiative, we pledge again under our leadership to ensure that all GEXIM- funded projects will be fully completed for these projects to play their expected roles in the [nation’s] industrialisation drive,” he said.
His comments were re-echoed by GEXIM’s Chief Executive, Lawrence Agyinsam, who said his outfit is very excited by the prospects presented by the free trade area, and will work to give Ghana an advantage over its peers. “All the industrialisation that we are supporting is part of the agenda to promote exports into the free trade area…we will complete all outstanding projects before we embark on new ones,” he explained.