Togbe Afede XIV (middle), Chairman, World Trade Centre, Accra, making some remarks at the launch of the 53rd General Assembly of the World Trade Centres Association. With him are Crystal Edn (right), Director, Member Services, World Trade Centres Association, and Evilene Hansen, Counsellor and Deputy Namibian High Commissioner to Ghana. PICTURE: MAXWELL OCLOO
Togbe Afede XIV (middle), Chairman, World Trade Centre, Accra, making some remarks at the launch of the 53rd General Assembly of the World Trade Centres Association. With him are Crystal Edn (right), Director, Member Services, World Trade Centres Association, and Evilene Hansen, Counsellor and Deputy Namibian High Commissioner to Ghana. PICTURE: MAXWELL OCLOO

Ghana hosts World Trade Centres Association General Assembly in April

More than 500 delegates from 100 countries will converge on Accra in April this year for the 53rd World Trade Centres Association (WTCA) General Assembly.

The 53rd WTCA General Assembly, which will be held in Accra from April 23 to 28, will be the first to be hosted in Africa in the over 50-year history of the WTCA, a global network of 300 business organisations in more than 100 countries.

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The global event is expected to be one of the biggest gatherings of business executives, investors, financial institutions, international trade organisations, policy makers and entrepreneurs on the African continent.

On the theme: “Towards African Economic Integration and Enhanced Global Presence”, the assembly will foster global collaborations among the various WTCs, as well as create trade and investment opportunities for businesses and countries.

Economic integration

At the media launch of the 53rd WTCA General Assembly in Accra last Wednesday, the Executive Chairman of the WTC, Accra, Togbe Afede XIV, said the event was a great opportunity for African countries to enhance economic partnerships among themselves and other countries.

He said it was unfortunate that in spite of the fact that Africa controlled about 60 per cent of the world’s arable land and 30 per cent of the known mineral deposits, the continent could only boast less than five per cent of global trade and gross domestic product (GDP).

He said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was created because of the difficulties African countries faced in trading effectively among themselves and delivering value.

“AfCFTA is the single largest customs-free trading area in the world and it presents the world with an amalgamated African market worth more than three trillion dollars in GDP. The AfCFTA single market will grow to have 1.7 billion people in 2030, with consumer spending in excess of $6.7 billion,” he said.

Togbe Afede, who is the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, said the 53rd WTCA General Assembly, which would focus on Africa, was meant to further enhance strategic partnerships, as envisaged by the AfCFTA, to promote trade among African countries and the world at large.

“Strategic global partnerships are necessary to ensure that African businesses reap the full benefits of AfCFTA. During the WTCA General Assembly 2023, we will offer opportunities for these partnerships, first between companies across Africa and then between African enterprises and the world,” he added.

He, therefore, urged businesses in Africa, especially those in the private sector, to participate fully in the assembly and take advantage of the opportunities associated with the event.

Pan-African

The Director of Member Services of the WTCA, Crystal Edn, said the WTCA was a global organisation that facilitated trade and business connections among its members.

“Through our members, the WTCA stimulates trade and investment opportunities for commercial property developers, airports, free trade zones, economic development agencies and small-to-medium size businesses looking to connect globally and prosper locally,” she said.

She explained that the association decided to organise the 53rd General Assembly in Africa due to the tremendous business opportunities, as well as scale of development, on the continent, adding: “This is truly a Pan-African event with a global reach.”

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