African governments must break down trade barriers — Yofi Grant
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Authority, Mr Yofi Grant, has reiterated the need for African governments to review the barriers that make trade and tourism a challenge among their peoples.
He said there was the urgent need to look at rigid borders, visas, passports and flight routes which sometimes made it easier to reach Europe from Africa than another African country.
Mr Grant was speaking as one of the panelists at a forum at the ongoing Intra African Trade Fair (IATF 2023) on Saturday, November 11, 2023 in Cairo, Egypt.
The fair which opened on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre aims to promote trade among African countries. It has as a main theme, Connecting African Markets.
Dr Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, meets a group of businessmen and women from Comoros , at the Ghana Pavilion at the fair.
The panel discussion was part of the African Tourism Sustainability and Investment Forum with the theme: Unlock Africa's tourism potential through Intra-Africa trade.
Mr Grant explained that there was also the critical need to put in place proper accounting systems to be able to put figures on tourism proceeds, create data and enable the collection of taxes among others.
Another panel member, the President of the Africa Business Council of Egypt, Dr Amany Asfour mentioned some of the tourist attractions in Egypt, such as the journey of the holy family in Egypt, saying that many were not aware of these and would rather travel to Europe.
The Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism in South Sudan, Lt Gen Rizik Zakaria Hassan said Africa remained intact in respect of cultural background, game reserves and wildlife which it could leverage on to promote tourism.
He wondered why Africans referred to their own foods as local and that of other cultures with no such tags.
On language, the Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, South Sudan, Lt Gen Rizik Zakaria Hassan urged Africans to consider, develop and use a common language asking, “when would we have "Africaphone?" We have. Francophone, Anglophone etc."
Mr Kweku Bediako Oduro, Creative Director/Founder of Chocolate Clothes Global ( left) with Dr Afua Asabea Asare at the CANEX Creative Africa Nexus pavilion at the ongoing fair.
The Counsellor, Tourism Embassy of Zambia in Egypt, Madam Jessie Simukoko was concerned that what all Africans seemed to be occupied with was strategising, planning and talking about the same things while others implemented.
The Head of Strategic Management, Ministry of Tourism and Antiques, Egypt, Mr Adel El Gendy said that the fact that Africa had tourism assets which could not be transported was an advantage which could be leveraged on.
Patronage for Juki Nuts at the Ghana Pavilion was good