New IGAD chief emphasizes business community’s role in African integration

Mapping Africa

The newly appointed executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Thursday emphasized the need to integrate the business community at the center of Africa’s regional and continental integration ambition.

Workneh Gebeyehu, who was appointed as the east African bloc’s executive secretary last month, spoke of “vital importance of putting the business community at the forefront for promoting intra-regional trade and investments in our region, to make the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).”

He made the remarks at the three-day Prosperity Africa Conference, in Djibouti. The event, organized by the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, started on Tuesday.

Gebeyehu, who once served as Ethiopia’s foreign minister, highlighted some of the initiatives that contribute to the success of the AfCFTA, including the IGAD Regional Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, the Protocol of Free Movement of Persons, the Ware House Receipt System, and Industrialization and Value Addition framework, according to an IGAD statement.

The Prosperity Africa Conference, among others, brought together senior government officials of Djibouti, representatives of the business community from the region and beyond, as well as officials of various multilateral agencies, including the UN Development Program and the World Bank, the statement said. Enditem

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