Benedict Okechukwu “Okey” Oramah, CON, (born 24 July 1961) is a Nigerian economist who currently serves as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).[1][2][3][4][5]

Benedict Okechukwu "Okey" Oramah
Born (1961-07-24) 24 July 1961 (age 62)
Ahoada, Nigeria
EducationUniversity of Ibadan, Ibadan

University of Ife, Ifẹ

Columbia Business School, New York
OrganizationAfrican Export-Import Bank
Title3rd President and Chairman of the Board of Directors
SpouseChinelo Oramah
HonoursCommander of the Order of the Niger (CON)

Knight of the National Order of Cameroon

Knight of the National Order of the Republic of Congo

Biography edit

Early life and education edit

Benedict Okechukwu Oramah was born on 24 July 1961 to Chief Lazarus A. and  Francisca U. Oramah in Ahoada, in present day Rivers State of Nigeria. He is the youngest of four children.[6]

Oramah attended the Merchants of Light School in Oba before obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan in 1983. He obtained his Masters degree and doctorate of philosophy from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in the same field. He went on to earn an Advanced Management Certificate from Columbia Business School, New York.[6][7]

In 2018, he was appointed a Professor of International Trade and Finance by Adeleke University, Nigeria.[8]

Career edit

Having joined the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) as an Assistant Manager in 1992, Oramah became one of the original employees of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in March 1994. He served as a Chief Analyst from 1994 until he was promoted to the position of Assistant Director in 1998 and then to Deputy Director in 2001. He became the substantive Director of the Planning and Business Development Department in 2004 and the Senior Director in 2007. In 2008, Oramah was appointed Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking.[5]

On 13 July 2015, Oramah succeeded Jean-Louis Ekra to become the third president of the bank.[9] His appointment was renewed for a second five-year term in 2020.[10] [11]

Personal life edit

Oramah is married to Mrs. Chinelo Oramah. They have three daughters.[6]

Board memberships edit

Oramah serves as a chairman or member of the board for a number of organizations. He is the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), the chairman of the Management Board of Directors of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), the current chairman of the Executive Committee of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB),[12] the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the African Union Covid-19 Response Fund,[13] Board member of the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa (SDGCA),[14] and serves on the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO).[15] He is also a member of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) Advisory Council,[16] a member of the Practitioners Advisory Board of the Institute for Trade and Innovation (IfTI)[17] at Offenburg University, Germany, a Board member of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA)[18] and a member of the Emerging Markets Advisory Council of the Institute of International Finance (IIF-EMAC).[19]

Oramah also serves as a fellow of the Institute of Credit Administration (ICA) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Recognition edit

Oramah has received numerous recognitions and awards. In 2023, he was honoured with Congolese national honour, the Officer of the Congolese Order of Merit.[20] In 2022, he was honoured with the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by the Federal Government of Nigeria.[21] Earlier in 2019, he received the Russian Federation’s state award of the Order of Friendship for his role in promoting Russia-Africa trade and investment relations.[22][23] Also in 2019, the Cameroonian Government honoured him with the award of Knight of the National Order.[24]

In addition, Oramah was named Africa's 2023 "Person of the Year" by Forbes Africa, 2023 "Business Leader of the Year" at CNBC Africa’s 11th All Africa Business Leaders Awards, and 2017 and 2022 "African Banker of the Year" by the African Bankers’ Magazine.[25][26][27] He was awarded with the Financial Leadership Award by the Africa Prosperity Network in 2024.[28] He also received the 2022 Margaret Herz Demant Award for African Art by the Detroit Institute of Arts.[29]

Oramah has been listed as one of the 100 most influential Africans by New African Magazine from 2019 to 2022[30][31] and among the top 100 Influential Africans by Jeune Afrique magazine for multiple years since 2017. He also holds honorary doctorates from the Obafemi Awolowo University and Nnamdi Azikiwe University.[32][33]

Published works edit

  • A Path to Making Africa Great Again, New York University and Afreximbank, 2018
  • Foundations of Structured Trade Finance, Wilmington, Ark Group Ltd., London, 2015
  • Potentials for Diversifying Nigeria’s Non-Oil Exports to Non-Traditional Markets, Research Report 68, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Nairobi, November 1997

References edit

  1. ^ "Nigerian emerges African Export-Import Bank president". Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  2. ^ CNN speaks to African Export-Import Bank President | CNN, 2023-07-14, retrieved 2023-11-05
  3. ^ "Nigeria's Benedict Oramah assumes headship of Afreximbank". 2015-09-21. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  4. ^ "Afreximbank appoints Nigerian banker, Benedict Oramah as new president". Ventures Africa. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  5. ^ a b "Benedict Oramah". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  6. ^ a b c "Afreximbank's Benedict Oramah – 'The ratings agencies looked down on us'". The Africa Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  7. ^ Anyaoku, Emeka (2004). The Inside Story Of The Modern Commonwealth. Evans Brothers Ltd. pp. 3–5. ISBN 0-237-52734-0.
  8. ^ "President Oramah Decorated Professor of International Trade and Finance". African Export-Import Bank. 2018-07-22. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  9. ^ "Afreximbank appoints Benedict Oramah as new president". TXF. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  10. ^ "Prof. Benedict Oramah Re-appointed as Afreximbank President". African Export-Import Bank. 2020-06-14. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  11. ^ "ALB - African Law and Business". ALB Legal and Business Issues from Africa. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  12. ^ "The Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program Launches AATB Food Security Program". African Export-Import Bank. 2023-07-06. Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  13. ^ "AUCOVID19ResponseFund | African Union". Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  14. ^ "board". Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  15. ^ "Economy". International Cocoa Organization. Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  16. ^ "Afreximbank president Benedict Oramah's allies and inner circle". The Africa Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  17. ^ "Members". Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  18. ^ "Board of Directors – codafrica". Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  19. ^ "Prof. Benedict Oramah | Global Africa Business Initiative". Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  20. ^ "Congolese President Confers National Honors on Afreximbank President and Executive Vice President". African Export-Import Bank. 2023-10-03. Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  21. ^ "Afreximbank President Oramah awarded Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by the President of Nigeria". African Export-Import Bank. 2022-10-17. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  22. ^ Awoyinfa, Samuel (2019-11-05). "Putin honours Afreximbank president, Oramah". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  23. ^ "Putin Honours Oramah with Russia's National Award - THISDAYLIVE". Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  24. ^ "Cameroon Awards National Honours to Afreximbank Leaders". African Export-Import Bank. 2019-12-15. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  25. ^ AriseNews (2023-12-08). "Afreximbank's President Oramah Named FORBES Africa's 2023 Person of the Year". Arise News. Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  26. ^ "'Exploring Uncharted Waters': The Growth Strategist Turning Around African Trade". 2023-12-15. Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  27. ^ Moses-Ashike, Hope (2022-05-03). "Wigwe, Oramah, Ayeyemi make list of African Banker of Year Award". Businessday NG. Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  28. ^ "Main". Africa Prosperity Network. Retrieved 2024-01-31.
  29. ^ "2022 Margaret Herz Demant Awards | Detroit Institute of Arts Museum". Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  30. ^ African, New (2020-12-15). "Benedict Oramah: International trade is a game of survival of the fittest". New African Magazine. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  31. ^ "Afreximbank's President Benedict Oramah Named Among Most Influential Africans". African Export-Import Bank. 2019-05-10. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  32. ^ University, Nnamdi Azikiwe (2022-03-23). "Convocation: Afrexim Bank President, Oramah, Dangote, others bag Degrees from UNIZIK". Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Retrieved 2023-11-05.
  33. ^ Rapheal (2022-04-24). "Day UNIZIK honoured Dangote, Oramah, others at convocation". The Sun Nigeria. Retrieved 2023-11-05.