The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has emphasised the need for smart investments in critical infrastructure in Africa.
He made this known in his keynote address yesterday at the maiden edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues, dubbed the “Kwaku Summit,” at Safari Valley Resort, Akuapem.
Addressing the participants under the theme “AfCFTA-From Ambition to Action – Delivering Prosperity through Continental Trade,” the Vice President stated that as a continent, there is the need to produce and trade the way out of poverty and underdevelopment.
To be able to do that, he said there is the need for investing in smart infrastructure across the continent. The dialogue, he indicated, is organised as a solution-driven initiative to fast-track the implementation of the AfCFTA.
Furthermore, the vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia disclosed that another transformation Africa needs is to unleash the productive capacities across the continent.
Thus, “We must create platforms for knowledge brokerage and access to information on critical products and services on the continent to allow 445 million small businesses across the continent to plug into the value chains of these mega industries” he said.
On mobilising finance and investments, he stated that Africa needs between US$130 billion and US$170 billion annually to bridge its infrastructure gap and generate sustainable growth at 5% per annum or more. If this is done, he believes it will provide immense opportunities for the private sector investment.
The Executive Chairman of African Prosperity Network, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, who also addressed the participants, indicated that the forum is for the private sector in Africa to join forces to assert a leading voice and play leadership role on how best Africa can drive a vibrant, single market for the prosperity of Africa’s nearly 1.4 billion citizens.
He also added that this is a historic event because it marks the 60th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity, which was set up to promote the unity and solidarity of the African States.
“The AU in 2018 adopted the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which has the all-important goal of turning Africa into the world’s largest single market,” he said.
This, he believes, is the biggest promise this century for the prosperity of Africa and the African.
In order for Africa to be successful, Mr. Darko indicated that the AfCFTA must be seen and felt from this onset to be for the people of Africa.
Mr. Otchere-Darko advised that the aggregate value of enterprises and industries across Africa must be networked, coordinated and impactfully leveraged.
This, he said, is the reason why Africa Prosperity Dialogue was created to serve as an annual retreat where business leaders, thought leaders, trade associations, development organisations, young and women entrepreneurs to sit, think, plan and work together with urgency, to intensify the efforts towards achieving the goals of AfCFTA.
The Dialogue provided African political and economic leaders with a forum to advance ideas to improve Africa, with the overall objective of generating prosperity throughout the continent.
The dialogue which began yesterday is expected to climax with the Presidential and Business Leaders Summit that will be held at the Peduase Presidential Lodge on Saturday, January 28, 2023.
The Presidential and Business Leaders Summit, Mr. Eugene Owusu noted, will be a high-level roundtable dialogue between selected African Heads of State and Business and Industry Leaders.
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