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Second Edition of the APSS opens with clarion call to accelerate AfCFTA implementation

20 October, 2021

Accra, 19 October 2021 (ECA) – The Africa Private Sector Summit (APSS) Series 2 opened in the Ghanaian capital, Accra today with a call on African policymakers, private sector and academia to take bold steps to fast-track the free flow of business and trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in an atmosphere of cooperation and partnership.

The President of the Republic of Malawi, H.E. Mr. Lazarus Chakwera, urged participants to treat the AfCFTA as an opportunity and not a success in itself in a pre-recorded message played to an international audience across the world, including about 100 physically present.

“AfCFTA is the runway from which our economies should take off,” the President asserted.

President Chakwera stressed that AfCFTA is complemented by other continental initiatives, including the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

“One area that I call on all countries is to revisit their policies that regulate the movement of African nationals and goods across African borders and through ports of entry,” the President stated.

Sponsored by the European Union under an ECA partnership on AfCFTA sensitization, APSS Series 2, is being held from October 19 to October 22, 2021, on the theme: “Awakening Africa’s sleeping giants in implementation of AfCFTA: Leveraging Strategic Opportunities for Africa’s Turnaround.” It convened industry giants, policy makers, the public sector, entrepreneurs and CEOs across Africa to galvanize more action from deliberation in the implementation of AfCFTA.

Mr. Adeyinka Adeyemi, Senior Advisor at the United Nations of Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) began the discussion by underscoring the role of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the private sector in the implementation of AfCFTA,

“The agreement would largely influence the RECs trade policies hence the need to commence collaboration at the early stages of implementation, especially with the private sector, to ensure success,” Mr. Adeyemi affirmed.

On his part, Ghanaian Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Alan Kyerematen, speaking on the theme of the Summit emphasized on the role of the AfCFTA by stating “Indeed, if Africa was a sleeping giant, with the AfCFTA, it has awakened with a roar of a pride of African lions.”

In a speech delivered by the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah Adjei, the Minister further noted that the AfCFTA will be a major driver for reigniting industrialization and paving the way for engineers to collaborate with policy makers and other professionals in developing projects and programmes to support the emerging industrial renaissance.

Echoing the same sentiments, the Chairperson of the APSS, Mr. J. Wendell Addy stressed that awakening Africa's Sleeping Giants is a call to past and present presidents, leaders, industrialists, stakeholders and the people of Africa to fully engage for the Africa We Want and must have.

“It is an exciting time for citizens and private sector of Africa, and we urge all hands-on deck and a role for everyone for the success of AfCFTA. We need to work hard in contributing solutions, best practices and forward-looking ideas culminating in projects that can be implemented continentally, instead of the usual lamentation,” Mr. Addy emphasized.

The President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Mr. Clement Osei-Amoako spoke on the leading role of the private sector in realizing AfCFTA’s promises.

“The die has been cast and this places a responsibility on us to collectively work together to rationalize trade negotiations,” Mr. Osei-Amoako said.

Drawing on conclusions from the maiden APSS, the four-day Africa Private Sector Summit (APSS), convening more than 100 stakeholders joined by hundreds more virtually, consists of more than ten sessions in which participants will exchange their views for a unique collaboration that is expected to generate goodwill and commitment from both the African private and public sectors in fast-tracking the implementation of key recommendations geared towards optimizing the benefits of the AfCFTA.


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