Business leaders to meet in Ghana to push AfCFTA agenda

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Kwahu Summit
Kwahu Summit

About 150 policy and business leaders from across Africa will meet in Ghana at the end of January to discuss measures to promote intra-Africa trade and investment.

The Africa Prosperity Dialogue series, also known as the “Kwahu Summit” is expected to provide a platform for African political and business leaders to set and push initiatives to transform Africa, with the overarching goal of achieving prosperity across the continent.

The maiden dialogue, which would be held from January 26-28, 2023, is being organised by the Africa Prosperity Network, in partnership with the Office of the President, the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, among other partners.

This year’s event is on the theme: “AfCFTA – From ambition to action – delivering prosperity through continental trade.”

Addressing a pre-summit media briefing in Accra on Wednesday, Dr Eugene Owusu, Executive Director and Coordinator, Summit Secretariat, said the Summit would foster stronger partnerships between industry leaders and Heads of State on specific transformational projects to propel the implementation of the AfCFTA.

He said there would be a Business and Policy Leaders Dialogue to be held at Adukrom in the Eastern Region from January 26-27, 2023, followed by a Presidential Business Leaders’ Summit that would take place at the Peduase Presidential Lodge.

“The Presidential and Business Leaders Summit will be a high-level roundtable dialogue between the selected African Heads of State and business and industry leaders, and it is expected to culminate the adoption of a compact between the Heads of State and the business leaders.” Dr Owusu said.

The African continent is estimated to hold a market of 1.3 billion people, with a combined market size of $2.2 trillion.

The AfCFTA Secretariat, which has its headquarters in Ghana, came into force in 2019, with the aim of promoting trade and investments among African countries.

Mr Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat, welcomed the Summit, saying the establishment of the AfCFTA “is one of the important steps in Africa’s development agenda.”

He said the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war had challenged the continent to think innovatively and reduce its dependency on imports.

“Many countries in Africa depend on imports so when supply is disrupted, we experience inflation and food insecurity.” Mr Mene said.

He said 44 African countries had thus far ratified the AfCFTA Agreement, adding that Mozambique was expected to ratify the framework soon.

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, said the Government would participate in the Summit and expressed hope that it would create opportunities for businesses in Ghana as took advantage of the opportunities on the continent.

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