President of the African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, has been honoured with the Russian National Award of “The Order of Friendship” by the Russian Government.
The award which was bestowed on him by President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, was witnessed by senior members of the Government of the Russian Federation and other dignitaries.
The Order of Friendship is a state decoration established by Boris Yeltsin, the first President of the Russian Federation, which is awarded to Russian and foreign nationals alike.
The award is essentially for special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations, for fruitful work on the convergence and mutual enrichment of cultures of nations and peoples.
Those recognised are remarkably active in the conservation, development and promotion of the cultural and historical heritage of Russia, great contribution to the implementation of joint ventures with the Russian Federation, major economic projects and attracting investments into the economy of the Russian Federation, as well as for broad charitable activities.
Some previous winners of the honour include, former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad; former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, among others.
The award to Prof Oramah, who has been the President of Afreximbank since 2015, falls under the category of “Special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations, for fruitful work on the convergence and mutual enrichment of cultures of nations and peoples”.
“It is, specifically, in recognition of the role played by Afreximbank revitalising trade and economic relations between Africa and Russia as evident in the success of the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum held in Sochi, Russian Federation, from 23 to 24 October, as well as the rapidly rising trade and investment relations between Russia and Africa”, the statement added.
Also named as recipients of the Order of Friendship for 2019 were Vice-President Rosario Murillo Zambrana of Nicaragua; William Craft Brumfield, a U.S. citizen and professor of Slavic studies at Tulane University.
Others are, Professor Emeritus Rein Müllerson, an Estonian citizen and international law researcher at Tallinn University; Nikos Daskalandonakis, Russian Honorary Consul in Crete; and Armi Lopez Garcia, Russian Honorary Consul in the Philippines.
It may be recalled that prior to this prestigious award, the Afreximbank President, who holds an MSc and a PhD in agricultural economics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in Nigeria, was named as one of the most influential Africans.