Banks in Africa must begin to operate beyond borders – Ibrahim Mahama

Business magnate, Ibrahim Mahama is urging African banks to operate beyond the borders of the countries within which they operate, to retain capital inflow.

According to him, the inability of local banks to go beyond their operational borders, is a major setback to project investments within the continent.

The Chief Executive Officer of Engineers and Planners, made the statement at the just-ended Afrexim Summit in Dubai.

The summit brought together thriving entrepreneurs from African countries to share ideas on business on the continent.

Mr Ibrahim said: “The problem we have is that we have banks that do not operate cross border. You go into Nigeria, you deal with let’s say First Bank, First Bank is not in Ghana. The problem in our country as well is that ‘single-obligor’ limit and the access to financing”.

“When I go to a bank and I see a project and it’s over 300 million dollars [and] I can only get 10 million dollars; who do I speak to? If you put even ten banks together, they can’t do such transactions,” he said.

He said despite the huge potential of Africa, the availability of capital remains a major hurdle.

“I think we need to rethink, Africa has got higher returns and better profits than Europe. Business in Europe is all finished,” he said.

Engineers and Planners, a wholly owned Ghanaian company with over 15 years experience in mining, also has specialty in the management and hiring of heavy duty plants, equipment and machinery, haulage, oil and gas  as well as land reclamation and restoration.

The company also operates in four countries including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Congo Brazzaville and Liberia. 

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