Uche Usim, Abuja
Russian President, Vladimir Putin on Monday bestowed the national honour of “The Order of Friendship” on Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Moscow.
Spokesman of Afreximbank, Obi Emekekwue in a statement said the award took place during a ceremony held in the Kremlin, seat of the Government of the Russian Federation, and was witnessed by senior members of the government and other dignitaries.
The Order of Friendship is a state decoration established by Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the Russian Federation, and is awarded to Russian and foreign nationals for; Special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations, for fruitful work on the convergence and mutual enrichment of cultures of nations and people; the active conservation, development and promotion of the cultural and historical heritage of Russia; Great contribution to the implementation of joint ventures with the Russian Federation, major economic projects and attracting investments into the economy of the Russian Federation; Broad charitable activities.
The award to President Oramah falls under the category of “Special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations, for fruitful work on the convergence and mutual enrichment of cultures of nations and peoples”. It is, specifically, in recognition of the role played by Afreximbank revitalising trade and economic relations between Africa and Russia as evident in the success of the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum held in Sochi, Russian Federation, from 23 to 24 October, as well as the rapidly rising trade and investment relations between Russia and Africa.
Also named as recipients of the Order of Friendship for 2019 were Vice-President Rosario Murillo Zambrana of Nicaragua; William Craft Brumfield, a U.S. citizen and professor of Slavic studies at Tulane University; Professor Emeritus Rein Müllerson, an Estonian citizen and international law researcher at Tallinn University; Nikos Daskalandonakis, Russian Honorary Consul in Crete; and Armi Lopez Garcia, Russian Honorary Consul in the Philippines.
Some previous winners of the honour include former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad; former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, among others.