An appeal has gone to African Governments to remove all barriers to the free movement of goods to ensure the effective implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Mr Nelson Madiba Amo, Chief Executive Officer, Innohub, who made the appeal, described the difficulties with visa acquisition as among the “artificial barriers” that hindered intra-Africa trade and undermined the ability of businesses and individuals to explore opportunities within the continent.
He made the appeal when he engaged the Media at the maiden edition of the 2022 Forty Under 40 Africa Awards held in Accra- Ghana on Saturday, March 26, 2022.
“Recently, I was invited to attend a meeting in an African country and the processes involved in the visa application were so tedious that I missed that opportunity to attend the meeting in that country. But it is much easier to secure a visa and travel outside Africa.
“This is pathetic and shameful. Such artificial challenges will limit the potential of the AfCTA provisions to yield desired results,” Mr Amo said.
Mr Amo called on businessmen on the continent to stand up and promote investments on the continent to help create more jobs for the youth and promote sustainable development.
He also urged African governments to deploy the right strategies and policies to drive investments into ventures that could promote innovation, create jobs and decent incomes for the teeming youth.
He said the lack of sustainable opportunities for the youth was a “ticking time bomb” that could plunge the continent into chaos if not addressed.
This year’s awards scheme, organised in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports sought to honour and celebrate a cross-section of the continent’s most influential and accomplished business leaders under age forty from a wide range of industries.
Mr Amo emerged the winner of the Investment Category – in recognition of his dedication and commitment to support Small and Growing Businesses in Ghana and on the continent at large.
He also clinched the “The People’s Choice Award,” representing the nominee with the highest number of votes across all the categories.
Mr Amo expressed profound gratitude to his family, friends, Innohub’s partners, Board and team members, and everyone who had supported his endeavour.
The awardee is an expert in business development, growth consulting, grant management, business model innovation, and design of enterprise support initiatives.
He is an alumnus of the Oxford Social Finance Programme of Said Business School, University of Oxford and holds a Master of Science Degree in Development Studies from London School of Economics, with a special interest in Business Model Innovation.