Monday, April 02, 2007

Will this be Africa's Second Regional Banking Group?

Not to be cowed by criticism of its 419, and apparent endemic corruption, Nigeria has bitten the bullet to spearhead the...

...establishment of a regional bank [that] will help reverse the dependence of real domestic capacity on foreign financing by empowering key African institutions to build a large ticket private sector businesses into global players in key sectors

These words were uttered by the Central Bank of Nigeria Chief Professor Soludo, responsible for facilitating the dynamic and vibrant Nigerian banking sector.

Looks like the African Finance Corporation, as reported by Ghana's Business Week Ghana, will be "Africa's version of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank"

Kudos to Nigeria! All of Africa ought to get on board, whilst this corporation opens up offices in The Gambia; South Africa; Kenya; Tunisia and "some francophone countries".

Incidentally, ECOBANK, the private sector banking arm of ECOWAS has been the quintessential regional banking group since 1985. It has offlate, re-branded itself as the Pan-African bank.

This, therefore, stands askance to what Prof Soludo says here:

Being the first private sector owned and run regional bank, Prof Soludo said, “our wish is for it to be 100%-owned by the private sector.”

I hope the esteemed professor jsut remembers to give credit where credit is due, by acknowledging ECOBANK as a regionally-run bank, too!

RegionsWatch will keep you posted.

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