The African Prosperity Network (APN) in partnership with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat under the auspices of the government of Ghana will hold the maiden edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues dubbed the “Kwahu Summit”.
The maiden edition of The Africa Prosperity Dialogue will take place from Thursday 26th January to Saturday 28th January 2023 which will take place at the Safari Valley Resort at Adukrom in the Eastern region under the theme, “AfCFTA-From Ambition to Action – Delivering Prosperity through Continental Trade.”
Also, on January 28, the Presidential and Business Leaders Summit will be held at the Peduase Presidential Lodge.
The Dialogue will provide African political and economic leaders with a forum to advance ideas to improve Africa, with the overall objective of generating prosperity throughout the continent.
Briefing the media in Accra, the Executive Director, and Coordinator at the Summit Secretariat, Dr. Eugene Owusu, stated that the Business and Policy Leaders’ Dialogue will bring together business executives, trade associations, Ministers of State, heads of Regional Economic Communities under the Africa Union, technocrats, women, young entrepreneurs, and thought leaders to define practical ‘quick wins’ to move the AfCFTA initiative from ambition to action.
He noted that Enhancing Productive Capacity such as transportation, agriculture, and energy; finance, technology, and innovation, critical legal and institutional constraints to the actualization of the single African market and the Free Movement of people across borders are the key areas that are critical to unleashing the potential of the AfCFTA.
Dr. Owusu indicated that the AfCFTA has set the stage for Africa’s industrialization drive, and was hopeful that the initiative holds the key to the prosperity of the African continent.
“We are talking about a market of One Point Three billion people, with a combined market size of Two Point Two trillion Dollars. The benefits of success are huge, including an estimated income gain of about Four Hundred and Fifty billion Dollars, the potential to lift an estimated 30 million people from extreme poverty.
“We must leverage the AfCFTA to unleash the full potential of this continent and to change the narrative about Africa. We hope that the maiden Kwahu Summit will help define concrete strategic actions by political and business leaders across the continent, including the right mix of policies,” Dr. Owusu noted.
On his part, the Minister for Information, KojoOppong Nkrumah, stated that the dialogue will serve as a platform for leaders to explore their ideas.
He added that two of the great needs of Africa, which are to increase the intra-African Investment Story and the intra-African Trade story will take advantage of the discussions that will take place at the summit.
Mr. Nkrumah said it is important that African leaders, African industry, coalesce and fine-tune the kind of ideas that will open the gates to the next frontier in Africa.
“A platform like this gives us a real opportunity, not a political summit, not some other kind of summit but a confluence of ideas between industry practitioners and policymakers that would open the next frontiers of Africa”. He emphasized.
He expressed optimism saying; a look at the outline of persons and business leaders we are expecting from the entire continent will be joining us we will be disappointed if some very good deals are not commenced here.
“We expect that the coalition of actors from the continent will take advantage of like-minded persons and the kind of discussions that will take place to move when it comes to the intra-African investment agenda and the intra-African trade agenda.” Mr. Nkrumah stressed.
“The Government of Ghana is excited that this is best led by Ghanaians and the Government of Ghana is excited to participate in it.” He assured.
In a solidarity message, the Secretary General of AfCFTA, Mr. WamkeleMene, expressed his outfit’s excitement in partnering with the Office of the Presidentand Africa Prosperity Network, to convene the first of its kind dialogue led by Africans to advance Africa and to confront the challenges of development on our continent.
“The first step in this journey, as we all know, was taken formally in May 1963. With the establishment of the organisation of African Unity. In my view, the second most important step in Africa’s development thus economic development, in particular, is the formation of the African continental free trade area AfCFTA.” He stressed.
Mr. WamkeleMenedescribed the upcoming summit as the first of its kind and is scheduled to take place at a time when the world is facing all of these critical challenges.
He further pointed out that we are in a situation where many countries in Africa import grains from Russia and Ukraine when the supply is disrupted, we experience inflationary pressures on food.
Mr. WamkeleMenereiterated that Africans are going through a food insecurity crisis sayingOne Point Three billion people relying on a country of Forty Four million people to feed an entire continent adding that; Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia, and a few other countries haveTwo HundredMillion Dollar worth of extra grains every year.
According to him, with the AfCFTA the secretariat is beginning to turn a page, citing an example of the world transitioning from combustible engines to electric vehicles. The fifth largest exporter of lithium is Zimbabwe likewise the Democratic Republic of Cong and Zambia are also in the top five exporters of lithium.