By Bassey Udo
For leading innovation and digital transformation among central banks in Africa, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has been conferred with the Euroknowledge Africa Most Innovative Digital Transformation Governor of the Year Award for 2022.
The award was by the Foreign Investment Network (FIN), and a Washington-based network of investment groups.
Presenting the award to m Emefiele at a ceremony held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Washington DC, on Thursday, ;jon the sidelines of the Annual meetings of the international Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Group in Washington DC, the Advisor, Euroknowledge, Andreas Deutschmann, commended the CBN Governor for blazing the trail in innovation and digital transformation among central banks on the continent.
In his brief acceptance remarks, Emefiele thanked the Euroknowledge and the Foreign Investment Network (FIN) for finding the CBN worthy of the award and dedicated the award to the Management and staff of the Bank for their creative ideas, which enabled the CBN emerge as a pace-setter in payments system through its pioneering efforts in central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Emefiele also thanked Nigerians for their support to the CBN, particularly with its introduction of Africa’s first digital currency, the e-Naira.
“This award is not just for me, it is meant for all of us at CBN who have worked hard in the last eight and half years to keep Nigeria strong. To keep the Nigerian economy strong and going,” he said.
Highlighting the investment potential on the continent, Emefiele invited foreign investors to consider Nigeria and other countries in Africa as their choice investment destination, noting that business confidence in the continent was on the rise.
Specifically, he listed countries that investors should consider to include Nigeria, Angola, South Africa and Egypt.
“Today, we talk about the frontier market, and what I keep telling people is that as you continue thinking about growth opportunities in the world and you are looking at Africa, naturally you will have to think about some of the big economies in Africa.
“Nigeria, Angola, South Africa and Egypt are economies that you would need to think about. And I dare say, these economies hold a lot of strong opportunities for high yields and profitable projects.
“I can only seize this opportunity to encourage our friends in the foreign investment community to continue to take a look at Africa. Africa years for growth and development.
“We cannot do this alone. We will continue to need the support of the rest of the world. But I can assure all of us that as you do this, the opportunities are there and you will not regret taking the opportunities.
“The opportunities are there. I can only continue to say let’s give the support to Africa. Let’s give the support to Nigeria. We should all continue to work together for the growth, not just for our individual countries but for Africa as a whole,” the CBN governor added.
While admitting that there were challenges to overcome, Emefiele said the CBN, under his leadership, was encouraged to do more to boost the Nigerian economy.