Prof. Pat Utomi has been elected as the first Chairperson of a Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee.
Obi Emekekwue, Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management in the African Export-Import Bank, said this in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to the bank, Utomi, Founder of the Centre for Value in Leadership, Nigeria, was elected in Addis Ababa for a two-year term.
PAFTRAC, an advocacy platform to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, was established by Africa’s leading private sector institutions and corporate bodies.
It is established to enhance African private sector participation in trade and investment policy formulation, including trade negotiations.
Afreximbank said that PAFTRAC would enhance the integration of Africa into the global economy and contribute to the transformation of African economies in line with the African Union’s “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”.
The meeting of the institutions was co-hosted by Afreximbank and the African Union Commission.
The statement quoted Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank as saying that it was important African private sector play a more active role in trade.
Oramah urged the sector to play a more active role in shaping the parameters of trade and investment policy at all levels for its own benefit and for the transformation of African economies.
The PAFTRAC Secretariat will be hosted by Afreximbank in Cairo.
The institutions, which participated in the meeting and election, include African Business Roundtable; Afro Champions, the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ethiopian Airlines; and EBOMAF.
Others are the COMESA Business Council; the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry; African Development Bank; Ecobank; ITC; and the African Economic Research Consortium.
Also in attendance were the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; Pan-African University; CERPAC and the World Diamond Council.
Afreximbank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.
The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.
The bank is rated BBB+, Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The bank is headquartered in Cairo.