Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, says Africans must come together and seize the opportunity to create partnerships that will make the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) work.
That, he said, was necessary because the COVID-19 pandemic had taught Africa that its economic prospects hinged on expanding regional value chains across the nascent manufacturing economies.
This was in a speech read on his behalf in Accra at a three-day Africa Globalized Investment Forum organised by AfCFTA Policy Network.
It was on the theme: “Hand in Hand with Africa Investment Opportunities Under AfCFTA”.
He said the setbacks suffered across local supply chains due to the pandemic necessitated the reshoring of industrialization and trade effort.
He said by bringing together a continent of over 1.3 billion people, with a combined GDP of US$ 2.5 trillion, Africa’s incomes could potentially rise by US$ 450 billion by 2035 because of the AfCFTA.
Also, a one percentage point increase in Africa’s share of global trade from 2 to 3 percent could generate US$ 70 billion of additional income per annum for the continent.
He said the post-COVID-19 recovery should be anchored on increased economic integration and unlocking the productive capacity to meet local demand across strategic sectors.
“I envision trade liberalization, supported by initiatives such as establishing Commodity Exchanges and Derivate markets, becoming an essential tool for supporting our organizational capital, deepening our financial markets, and crucially delivering innovation on a scale that can unlock Africa’s potential”.
Mr. Louis Yaw Afful, Group Executive, AfCFTA Policy Network (APN)Group, said the purpose of the Summit was to take the opportunity through the protocol under AfCFTA, to focus on harnessing and harmonizing investment through the African continent.
“APN being the leader and first network on AfCTA, we would like to run this with partners, governments, private sector with the focus to bring all investors from across Africa and outside Africa to network, partner and look for sectors they can develop”.
He said their vision was to have the “invest city of Hope Project” and were happy to have been offered a 100-acre land in the Eastern Region.
The focus, Mr. Afful said, was to have an APN tower which would be a centre of excellence and tourism ecosystem.
“We are going to bring investors who have already shown interest from the JTC Group, one of the largest fund managers with an asset of over $120 billion, to support the tourism sector.”
He commended the AfCFTA Policy Network and its partners for putting together the forum.