After two years of virtual Lectures, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) will hold its annual Babacar Ndiaye Lecture on 14 October 2022 in Washington, DC, USA. This year’s event will be held under the theme “Africa and the Developing World in a Turbulent Global Financial Architecture”.
Speaking during a press briefing this past Friday, 7 October 2022, and leading the coordination of the 2022 edition Babacar Ndiaye Lecture, Dr Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist and Director of Research at Afreximbank, elaborated on the importance of this year’s theme, “Africa total external debt is less than $800 billion. That makes it about a third of Italy’s debt. Yet we talk more about Africa’s debt than Italy(…) Compared to France and America, the African sovereign debt spread is prohibitively high.”
This year’s keynote lecturer is Prime Minister of Barbados, HE Mia Amor Mottley, QC. “She is really a fantastic and amazing speaker. She also happens to be one of the rare politicians who understands the arcane language of finance fairly well.” Speaking on why he believes that Prime Minister Mottley is the right person to articulate and elaborate on the theme of the Lecture, Dr Fofack recalled to his meeting with the Prime Minister on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, “One important point she made was that you have a country like England. It took them maybe 100 years to pay in the debt that they incur during the last war, yet, many developing countries in the Caribbean Africa are actually more subject to short term, short term loan than longer maturity.”
The government of Barbados recently released what they called the “Bridgetown Initiative”. We expect Prime Minister Motley to elaborate on this programme so that we have concrete policy actions come out of the IMF/World Bank meetings.
Held annually on the sidelines of the World Bank meetings, the Babacar Ndiaye Lectures serves as a nexus for Afreximbank shareholders, partners, and professionals, along with existing and potential clients spanning all industries. The event also welcomes senior government officials and central bankers, leaders and representatives of international organisations and DFIs, researchers and members of the academic community, as well as the continent’s diplomatic corps and Chambers of Commerce.
Speaking on the importance of the upcoming lecture Dr Fofack said, “it’s very important to stress that what we are going to be doing next week, is not just a technical academic exercise, it’s also a policy exercise, which is likely to have tremendous consequences on the life of Africans and others around the world.”