Uche Usim, Abuja
Shareholders of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are to be paid $69 million as dividend from its 2018 earnings, according to decisions reached during the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) of the Bank which ended in Moscow on Sunday.
This is as the bank’s total assets, including contingent liabilities, went up by 15 per cent from $13 billion in 2017 to $15 billion in 2018.
At the AGM, the shareholders also appointed one new member to its Board of Directors and decided to retain Nigeria, which has been its Chairman since the last meeting in Abuja in 2018, in that position for one more year.
In another decision, the AGM approved the bank’s 2018 annual report which includes the 2018 financial statements.
In his report at the AGM, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said that the Bank’s total revenues rose by 24 per cent in 2018 to reach $806 million, while net income increased to $276 million, representing a 26 per cent increase on the level in 2017.
According to him, the profit performance reflected strong growth in interest and fee income from diversified sources by geography and financial products.
He informed the shareholders that during its extra-ordinary session in Nouakchott in July 2018, the African Union Heads of State Summit had approved the accreditation of the bank to the AU, allowing it to adopt most of the bank’s flagship initiatives as continental programmes and products.
He said: “That action would help to accelerate adoption of such initiatives at the national level, thereby improving the pace of implementation at lower cost.
“The accreditation was a privilege which was previously enjoyed only by the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa,” Oramah explained.
The end of the AGM marked the conclusion of the Bank’s 2019 Annual Meetings (AAM2019) which started on 20 June with the seminar and meeting of the Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa, declared open by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
On 21 June, Dimitri Medvedev, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, had addressed the opening session of the AGM.
AAM2019 was held under the theme “Harnessing Emerging Partnerships in an Era of Rising Protectionism”, and deliberated on such topics as: How South-South trade can be a path to Africa’s integration into the global economy; Multilateralism in the current global economic order of protectionism; and The role of investing in Africa’s infrastructure in accelerating intra-African trade and economic development.
Highlights of AAM2019 include the launch of the African Trade Report 2019; the launch of the Afreximbank Export Trading Company Strategy; and a half-day programme of activities dedicated to Russia–Africa investment cooperation. A number of trade agreements were also signed at the event.
AAM2019 marked the second time Afreximbank Annual Meetings would take place outside Africa. The 2012 Annual Meetings were held in Beijing.