Accra hosts maiden APN Africa Globalised Investment Forum

BY: graphic.com.gh
 Mr. Louis Yaw Afful, Executive Director of AfCFTA
Mr. Louis Yaw Afful, Executive Director of AfCFTA

The maiden edition of the Africa Globalised Investment Forum is set to kick off from Monday, October 25  to Wednesday, October 27, 2021, in Accra.

The forum aims at bringing international government officials, NGO private sector leaders, investors, and businesses from across the globe to invest in the economic sectors of all the member states of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)

It is programmed to be organised annually in all respective African countries through a collaborative effort between the AfCFTA Policy Network (APN) and Diaspora office in the United States, partners in the Arab league, Asia and Europe.

The Forum

Elaborating on the forum, the Executive Director of AfCFTA, Mr. Louis Yaw Afful said the forum seeks to support the AfCFTA Secretariat to accelerate the implementation of Continental FreeTrade Agreement (CFTA) by creating awareness in all African countries through the organisation of the Forum.

He added that it is also to take advantage of AfCFTA investment by organising investors globally to invest in the sectoral economy of the 55 countries of Africa.

“To create opportunities for the youth and women entrepreneurs and Micro, Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across Africa to assume a major role in the implementation and to be beneficiaries of the AfCFTA. It is also to expose the tourism potential and the role of tourism within the movement of people under the AfCFTA”, Mr. Afful added.

Mr. Afful further stated that the expected outcomes of the forum are to promote private investments into participating CFTA countries and, in particular, encourage public-private partnerships.

He was of the view that the week-long summit will create enablers for the startup ecosystem and potential value chains.

“It will provide an excellent networking platform to exchange with fellow investors and industry thought leaders. It will be an exciting opportunity for corporates and international investors to learn about the latest investment opportunities, trends, and how to invest in CFTA countries” he gave the assurance.

The forum will offer in-depth discussions by experts and thought leaders in key sectors such as Arts and Culture, Telecommunication, Digital and Media, Banking, Finance and Insurance, Innovation and Technology, Tourism, Extractives, Automobile, Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare, etc.

Also, the breakout sessions will provide a platform to discuss pertinent topics related to promoting and harnessing the full benefits of AfCFTA, including the role of Youth and Women, the post-COVID-19 and Beyond, Security and the AfCFTA, Investments and Financing for Industrialization, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and SME Development.

The guest speakers at the forum includes the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr.Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, H.E. Wamkele Mene, AfCFTA Secretary-General; Minister of Trade,Alan Kyeremateng; Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, Ghana.

Background

The AfCFTA policy network was established in 2019 as the lead and largest international nongovernmental organization (NGO) focused primarily as a think tank on African continental free trade area implementation.

The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, believed to be a game-changer in Africa, commenced Free Trading on January 1st, 2021.

To accelerate the implementation and realization of the benefits under this Agreement, intra-African trade must be boosted by producing and patronizing quality African products and services.

Currently, intra-African exports stand at about 17% of total continental exports.

Increasing this share will go a long way to increase value addition, enhance employment creation, improve incomes and livelihoods, and ultimately lift millions out of poverty.

A World Bank study states that if Africans implement this Agreement effectively, there is an opportunity by the year 2035 to lift 100 million Africans out of poverty, with additional 30 million Africans being lifted out of extreme poverty.

The AfCFTA is further expected to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterpriselevel by exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better re-allocation of resources, implementation and consequently the realization of the full benefits the AfCFTA presents.