Ghana Investment and Trade Week Summit opens in Accra
A three-day Ghana Investment and Trade Week Summit, organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in partnership with MIE Group, has commenced in Accra.
The event began with a call to businesses to seize the abundant opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in order to position the continent as a global leader during times of crisis.
In his welcome address on the theme, "Accelerating Economic Growth: Amplifying Ghana’s Global Market Footprint Through AfCFTA," Mr. Yofi Grant, the CEO of GIPC, hailed the summit as a significant gathering that has brought together investors, traders, policymakers, and exhibitors, all working towards the economic and political prosperity of the African continent.
Mr. Yofi Grant highlighted that intra-trade among African nations has only reached a modest 15 per cent annually, while intra-African investments, primarily from North and Southern African countries, account for less than five per cent.
He emphasized that AfCFTA offers a pivotal opportunity to transform this situation, enabling small businesses across the continent to engage in cross-border trade. Mr. Grant stated, "..But the AfCFTA without a doubt creates a very important but enormous opportunity to change those dynamics, but not just to change those dynamics but an opportunity for the African economies especially most of whom are dominated by SMEs and SMIs."
The free trade area is expected to elevate intra-Africa trade by approximately 33 percent and decrease the trade deficit by 51 percent.
Mr. Yofi Grant disclosed that Afreximbank, along with other banks in Ghana, has established a pan-African payment platform to facilitate trade among businesses. This system allows businesses to conduct transactions using their respective local currencies.
He anticipated that this initiative would foster job creation, particularly among the youth in Africa.
Mr. Yofi Grant expressed his conviction that Africa, renowned for its abundant natural resources, particularly transition minerals, will emerge as the world's engine of growth and a global savior in the next decade. He urged all to contribute towards realizing this vision.
Ghana, he noted, is propelled by the dual objectives of Goal One (poverty alleviation) and Goal Seventeen (global partnerships) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a strong emphasis on trade linkages.
Hosting the Secretariat of AfCFTA, he contended, presents Ghana with a pivotal opportunity to be the change it aspires to see, by capitalizing on all its advantages.
The country, he affirmed, is implementing significant policies such as the "One District One Factory" initiative and striving to enhance its infrastructure, including roads and railways, to bolster its competitiveness.
The summit, themed "Accelerating Economic Growth: Amplifying Ghana's Global Market Footprint Through AfCFTA," is set to feature Fireside discussions with CEO of the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA), Ambassador Edward Boateng, as well as panel discussions on the Role of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in becoming economic superhighways, along with exhibitions, among other activities.
The event was graced by the South African High Commissioner to Ghana, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, the Chief Executive Officer of SIGA, Ambassador Edward Boateng, and the Pakistani Ambassador to Ghana.