AfreximBank & Oakwood Green Africa Engage the Press

As Trade Road Show Ends…

By Millicent Mannah

AfreximBank and Oakwood Green Africa, have engaged members of the Press on the 1 Billion Dollar investment they are about to invest in the country during a Press Briefing that took place on the 10th May, 2023, at the New Freetown City Council Hall  in Freetown.

Regional Chief Operating Officer Anglophone West Africa of  AfreximBank, Eric MonchuIntong, revealed that they have started working on the transactions to give 1 Billion dollar and how that will increase the country’s GDP as well as the setting up of factories and industries to create employment.

He disclosed that the Bank is a forty Billon Bank that has the capacity to provide finance for trade and to enhance infrastructural development in Sierra Leone and the rest of Africa. According to him, they have been having back to back meetings with companies that are desirous of setting  up factories  in the country.

‘’The Road Show organized by Oakwood Green Africa and Ministry of Trade is one of the initiatives we carry out with Oakwood Green across the continent,’’ he stated.

‘’We take the programmes and facilities of the African Export Import Bank to our clients, potential clients, stakeholders, to educate them, expose what they need to understand, explain the various benefits that are involved along with the facilities, customers satisfaction, to support trade and trade promotion in African countries,’’ he further disclosed.

Eric MonchuIntong disclosed that the aforementioned bank is a thirty year old Bank, created in 1993, continuing that, the Bank was formed by African Member States to solve the evolving issues affecting Africa.

According to him, the Bank was created to promote, facilitate, and finance intra and extra Africa Trade stating how the Bank has proper facilities that they make available to member countries Government owned institutions,  the private sector, commercial Banks, Corporate institutions and SMEs.

‘’Some of these products and services can be quite technical, that is why we partner with entities like Oakwood Green Africa, who understands the requirement of the Bank, and translates and break down the requirements into forms that are easily understood by customers or potential customers,’’ Eric disclosed.

‘’The Bank believes that one of the reasons why intra-African trade is very low is due to lack of access to trade and market information. Many countries in Africa do not even know that there are export opportunities for their products in other African countries,’’ he asserted.

Oakwood Green Africa, CEO, Gabriel Edga said that true happiness is the number of people you impact while you are alive. And how, that is the reason why Oakwood Green Africa was born.

‘’We have a vision to enable greatness across Africa and to enable greatness is a big task, where do you start from, and where does it end. The truth about it is if you look at the problems in Africa, they are enormous, the question is, can they be solved?’’

He noted that they are firm believers that the problems can actually be solved and commended the Bank for providing hope saying that Africa can indeed be great.

‘’Oakwood Green Africa, are a bunch of people who have been blessed to travel across Africa and the world and have the knowledge of finance, business, and investment banking. We feel that with that knowledge that we have was given to us for a reason and to impact other people’s lives,’’ he stated.

‘’Trade has always been something that we think can unite us as one great force.  There is a reason why the African Continental Free Trade Agreement was set up so that we can trade with one another, create industry, factories and transport it to other African countries, ‘’ he said.

Gabriel Edgal maintained that, he was happy that the Special Industrial Zone was set up here and according to him, industries will come up, and that the country can produce things that can be exported to their neighbors.

He continued that they have begun to see that there are natural resources,   that  are not being utilized because of lack of capital, stating how AfreximBank can create the facilities to utilize these natural resources by providing capital.

The CEO said that they must focus on Agriculture, and not only to produce primary products saying through the support of AfreximBank, they can be able to produce secondary products for exportation, and how with that industries and factories  created jobs will be available as well.

Edgal noted that there is a huge population looking for jobs and they are suffering, and how that can change. He said AfreximBank has the capacity and Oakwood Green has the structure saying they are bringing it here for Sierra Leoneans to benefit.

Climaxing the Press Briefing was a question and answer session.


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