Africa private sector holds key to economic integration, prosperity — Otchere-Darko
The Executive Chairman of the Africa Prosperity Network (APN), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has stated that although African political leaders have shown commitment and seriousness towards economic union, the key to such integration and its benefits would be attained by the private sector on the continent.
He explained that it was to facilitate this process for the advantage of the 1.4 billion people that the APN had been holding retreats for heads of businesses and industries to come, think, plan and work together with the political leadership on how to make the single market dream a reality.
Mr Otchere-Darko stated this at a cocktail organised by the APN as part of the activities towards the Africa Prosperity Dialogue (APD 2024) which will take place in Ghana from Thursday, 25 to Saturday, 27 January, 2024.
It will attract African leaders and captains of industry. It is on the theme: “Delivering Prosperity in Africa- Produce, Add Value, Trade”.
The cocktail which afforded participants the opportunity to interact and make contacts was attended by heads of institutions with strong representation on the African continent, captains of industry, top government officials and members of the diplomatic community.
“We are not just going to have conversations; we will see deliverables from there [the APD] and whatever comes out of the dialogues, there will be a compact that will be presented to the AU for their consideration,” Mr Otchere-Darko added.
He explained that the outcome of the first African Prosperity Dialogue was adopted by heads of state and government of the Africa Union because they recognise that “if we’re going to make this goal of integrating our economies work, that ownership must be driven by Africa's private sector”.
He added that for the continent to be able to trade more within itself, business and industries must have the capacity to produce what they trade and not just produce what we trade but to add value to what we trade.
Mr Otchere-Darko hinted that the focus of next year's event would be about value addition and that it would not just be a talk show but exhibition of examples of what was working in countries across the continent.
In a speech read on behalf of the Secretary General of the AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene, by Mr Silver Joko, the former described the AfCFTA secretariat’s partnership with APD as a strategic development that would go a long way to influence the ability of the AfCFTA to deliver the much-needed prosperity for Africa.
He described the theme as very much aligned with the pillars that AfCFTA had developed from the policy perspective.
The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Charles Alani, emphasised that the UN through all its agencies considers the shift from poverty in Africa and its management to seeking real and tangible prosperity for the continent as a refreshing development.
He indicated that to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa, initiatives such as the Africa Prosperity Dialogues, which is aimed at rallying the private sector to lead the efforts of the continent to raise the requisite finances for the development of the continent and for the establishment of a strong intra-continental trade portfolio through the AfCFTA, are critical and powerful tools to achieve goals.
“Unless we produce more, unless we add more value and actually trade, all of this will just be talk.
The UN stands ready with the multiplicity of agencies to provide support not only in Ghana, but particularly to help connect across the African continent and globally through the compact to enable this [the APD] to succeed.
We look forward to the partnership” Mr Alani stated.