Mr Ziad Hamoui, the National President of the Borderless Alliance, Ghana, on Sunday said there are lessons to be learnt from the economic storm that the coronavirus pandemic had brought in its wake.
He said the current arrangement where Africa exported raw resources to support economic growth could no longer work to the advantage her people.
“It is time that Africans brought about the changes that will transforms the Continent into a global economic powerhouse, one that adds value to its resources and fulfils the rising expectations of the people,” he said.
Mr Hamoui said this in a statement issued to the Ghana News Agency on the official launch of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in Niamey, Niger.
He said the Agreement represented the best opportunity to accelerate Africa’s development beyond the current consumer society and more towards a truly productive and thriving one.
He said in the wake of major disruptions in global supply chains and international transportation networks, an integrated Africa had become more relevant than ever to build a resilient continent to external shocks, capable of meeting the needs of the youth.
He said there was the need to re-launch the conversation about the oneness of the Continent, its relevance and purpose, to take it to the next level.
“To do that, we need to be able to commonly identify and forge ahead with the Africa we want; adaptable, agile, collaborative, diverse, modern, inclusive, prosperous and thriving, to the benefit of governments, businesses and first and foremost, the citizens,” he said.
He said this must be done in practice to avoid having to write endless pages of complex vocabulary, which got lost in translation as it crossed the many boundaries.
“Our Continent is home to the world’s most strategic resources: abundant arable land, precious minerals and a priceless, vibrant young population that is willing to learn and to adapt.”
“We need to monitor and guide the use of these resources, and to change the paradigm, from trading with Africa to trading across Africa,” he said.
He said to bridge the gap the Continent must leverage on technological advances to propel her towards a more central role on the global scenes in all areas; agriculture, trade, health, tourism, manufacturing, finance, and investment among others.
“We can also aim to provide a competitive and reliable alternative for investors who want to reduce their supply chain risk and bring their manufacturing and production closer home”.