By Bukar Bolori
The President and Chairman of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), Dr. Agyekum Donkor has been awarded the prestigious Prix de la Fondation by the Crans Montana Forum at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.
The award was presented to Donkor last Friday by His Royal Highness Prince Jean of Luxembourg and Crans Montana Founder and Chairman, Jean Paul Carteron.
The Crans Montana Forum is a world leading international institution dedicated to Public-Private Sector Cooperation. It has become an elegant meeting place for high level officials and top decision makers from Governments and Business and Prix de la Fondation is awarded in recognition of an accomplished work and serves as a solemn encouragement.
At a cocktail held at the Fairmont Hotel in Geneva ahead of receiving the top award, Donkor highlighted the global economic downturn created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
He said: “The whole world is in economic turmoil as a result of two external shocks, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. As a result of these challenges, there have been escalating prices of food and energy and economies all over the world are suffering.”
Donkor lamented that food and energy prices have gone up tremendously which has affected the global commodity supply, resulting in price hikes in various jurisdictions, leading to severe economic challenges. He noted that inflation is on the high side, especially with countries that had been experiencing low inflationary records like Japan. Japan had rather been fighting deflation but now they are also battling inflation, he disclosed.
Later in a presentation to the Crans Montana Forum, Donkor told the audience that the ECOWAS Bank for International Development was more interested in the solutions more than the challenges. He called for the need to change our orientation and re-engineer our value system if we are to rise above the economic circumstances we find ourselves.
“Unless there is a change within, there cannot be a change without,” the EBID President counselled stating, “it is necessary to reinvent foreign policies and diplomatic action based on the necessary and unavoidable acceptance of the other.”
The award is an acknowledgement of Dr. Donkor’s numerous contributions to the socio-economic development of the sub-region by spearheading strategic economic initiatives for creating jobs and providing dynamic leadership to champion wealth creation for vulnerable population groups. A lawyer and development banker by training, his illustrious career, spanning close to three decades, has been a testament of people-centred leadership in a corporate setting.
Donkor focuses on implementation of change to drive progress not only in the West African sub-region, but also to stimulate a wider international impact through regional integration and engagement. Under his capable leadership, EBID has achieved several remarkable successes including balance sheet growth of 22% and 158% oversubscription of its 2021 UEMOA bond issuance concluded within 24hrs, both an indication of increased investor confidence.
Within two years of assumption of office as President of the Bank, Dr. Donkor, has recorded an impressive operational and financial performance to the admiration of all stakeholders.
Present at the Crans Montana ceremony were Rt. Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Ghana’s Ambassador to Switzerland, Emmanuel Kwame Asiedu Antwi as well as the Deputy Majority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament, Hon. Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, who is also a member of the ECOWAS Parliament.
The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) is a leading regional investment and development bank, owned by the fifteen (15) ECOWAS Member States. Based in Lomé, Togo, the Bank is committed to financing developmental projects and programs covering diverse initiatives from infrastructure and basic amenities, rural development and environment, industry, and social services sectors, through its private and public sector windows. EBID intervenes through long, medium, and short-term loans, equity participation, lines of credit, refinancing, financial engineering operations and related services.