Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has been named the FORBES AFRICA Person of the Year for 2023, as announced during an award ceremony held in Cairo, Egypt. The prestigious recognition was part of the unveiling of FORBES AFRICA’s December 2023/January 2024 edition, featuring Prof. Oramah on the cover.
The Founder and Publisher of FORBES AFRICA, Dr. Rakesh Wahi, and the Managing Director, Roberta Naicker, emphasized that the award celebrates exceptional Africans dedicated to the continent’s development. Managing Editor Renuka Methil praised Prof. Oramah as a true pan-Africanist, commending his three-decade career at Afreximbank.
In a detailed interview, Methil highlighted Prof. Oramah’s outstanding track record, boundless enthusiasm, passion, and significant contributions to Africa’s economic development. She particularly noted his visionary leadership, citing the historic launch of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), a cross-border payment initiative in local African currencies.
Methil applauded Oramah’s resilience as a risk-taker and his articulate vision for a new united Africa. The FORBES AFRICA Person of The Year nominations involve submissions from the magazine’s editorial and research teams, including journalists from various African bureaus. After a comprehensive Africa-wide review of prominent contributors, Prof. Oramah emerged as the unanimous winner for 2023.
This prestigious accolade adds Prof. Benedict Oramah to a distinguished list of past recipients, including Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Dr. James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Group; Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Aliko Dangote, CEO of Dangote Group; Mohammed Dewji, President of MeTL Group; and Thuli Madonsela, former Public Protector of South Africa.
In addition to the FORBES AFRICA Person of The Year award, President Oramah was honored with the Zik Prize in Professional Leadership in November. Under his transformative leadership, Afreximbank has been spearheading noteworthy projects, such as the recent signing of a $150 million trade finance facility agreement under the Ukraine Crisis Adjustment Trade Financing Programme for Africa with United Bank for Africa.
This recognition underscores Prof. Benedict Oramah’s enduring commitment to advancing Africa’s economic landscape and solidifies his position as a key figure shaping the continent’s financial future.
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