The Bank of Ghana (BoG) Governor, Dr. Ernest Addison, has emphasized the need of implementing policies that enhance economic buffers and foster trade between Africa and the Caribbean.
Speaking at the 30th Annual Meetings of Afreximbank shareholders in Accra, Dr. Addison highlighted the shared history, untapped markets, and immense potential that make the collaboration between the two regions an obvious choice.
He called for policies that improve resource mobilization, savings for development and growth, and the development of domestic financial markets.
The Governor also emphasized the urgent need to address existing infrastructure gaps, particularly in air and maritime transportation, which hinder trade between Africa and the Caribbean.
Trade between Africa and the Caribbean currently remains low despite their strong historical ties, with official figures indicating it stood at under US$1.5 billion by the end of 2021. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) exported only 4.4 percent of its total US$18.8 billion exports to Africa, while Africa imported just US$603 million of its US$33 billion imports from the region.
To address this, experts project that trade between the two regions can experience rapid growth, potentially increasing by US$1 billion over the next five years.
Sectors such as agrifood, healthcare, tourism, fertilizers, and automobiles are expected to contribute to this growth. Dr. Addison emphasized that central banks play a crucial role in creating an environment that propels growth through financial sector policies.
During the event, which coincided with Afreximbank’s 30th anniversary celebration, Dr. Addison commended the contributions of the institution in supporting African trade and driving growth across multiple sectors. Afreximbank has made significant interventions in infrastructure investments, agriculture and industry support, trade facilitation, and advisory services.
The institution has disbursed over US$8 billion through the Trade Impact Mitigation Facility platform to prevent trade debt defaults during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It aims to double its support for intra-African trade and investments from US$20 billion to US$40 billion by the end of December 2026.
Afreximbank’s collaboration with the African Union Commission and AfCFTA secretariat includes implementing trade fairs and establishing the AfCFTA Adjustment Fund to facilitate trade and prepare countries for the new trading regime. Ghana has also benefited from a fruitful relationship with Afreximbank, resulting in the disbursement of over US$2 billion to support various development and trade-related initiatives in the country.