Prof. Okey Oramah, President of African Export and Import Bank has called on African leaders to seize the opportunity provided by the coronavirus pandemic to integrate the continent through the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
Oramah, who was a guest panelist at the UBA Africa Day 2020 virtual event, stressed the importance of implementing the AfCFTA treaty amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The Afreximbank boss said, “The pandemic has shown the many weaknesses we have across our continent, not only from the point of view of the infrastructure but also appropriate economic policies that will help drive growth and manage events of the kind that we are witnessing today.
“Although, we do not have too much problem with the health issues and deaths, Africa has become the epicentre of the economic devastation that COVID-19 unleashed on us.
“What the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that there comes a time when every group of people fend for themselves. There comes a time when you must be independent.
“I hope that the message that this pandemic is teaching us about independence will help us to integrate our continent better so that we will trade better, invest among ourselves better and promote our growth and development as a people without always looking out for others to bail us out.”