President Akufo-Addo has extended an invitation to Africa’s living in the diaspora (Global Africans) to turn their investment portfolios to the continent, noting that with the coming into being of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the stage is set for the continent to attract their investments for its industrial development and transformation.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Global Africa Forum (GAF) jointly organised by the Africa Prosperity Network (APN) and the Africa-America Institute (AAI) on Thursday September 21st, 2023, on the margins of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York City, under theme: “Mobilising Global Africa Investment to Boost Intra-African Trade,” President Akufo-Addo said it is time for Africans to spend their monies on the continent to make her the wealthy place it ought to be.
“Like the vision of our forebears, the AfCFTA sets the stage for Africa’s industrialization and transformation. What is required now is for our respective governments and businesses to show bold leadership. We need coherent and complimentary strategic actions by governments and businesses.
“The right mix of policies and strategies for exports, value addition to raw commodities and a greater sense of purpose to ensure a robust intra-Africa trade, to drive agricultural growth, economic diversification and the much-needed industrialization of the continent” President Akufo-Addo said.
“As the saying goes, nothing succeeds as much as success. If we work at it, if we stop being beggars and spend Africa’s money inside the continent, Africa would not have to ask for respect from anyone, we will get the respect we deserve.
“Twenty years ago, thirty years ago, China was not where it is today. China does not ask anyone for respect today, she does not need to. Let us make our continent the joyful and prosperous place it should be and the respect will follow” Akufo-Addo added.
Concrete areas of investment
Secretary-General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat, Wamkele Mene, addressing the gathering on available areas of opportunity that the AfCFTA believes are accessible to potential investors to explore on the continent, noted that, the AfCFTA has identified some four (4) major areas of interest.
He indicated that the areas as identified by the AfCFTA are the manufacturing sector, the pharmaceutical industry, the agriculture sector and the newly created one (1) billion dollars AfCFTA adjustment fund which has been established to support productive sector investments.
“The fund is not intended for budget support. It is intended for productive sector investments. What we envisage is that you as the diaspora with global capital, will see the adjustment fund as a vehicle for channeling your investment and to see returns on your investments” Wamkele Mene said.
“This are the four areas that we have identified which are concrete, which we believe will be long lasting and impactful and will create job opportunities in Africa so that millions of young Africans stop being buried deep in the Mediterranean. We can create jobs for them at home on the African continent and that is why I think this dialogue is so very important” he added.
Apart from, President Akufo-Addo, other dignitaries who attended the forum included Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the board of directors, Afreximbank and H.E. Albert Muchanga, AUC Commissioner for Trade and Industry.
Other attendees were Dr. Amany Asfour, President of the Africa Business Council, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary General UNDP-RBA, Derrick Johnson– President, NCAAP, Mr. Julius Mwale, President, and CEO of SBA Technologies Inc, and several other leading Global Africa business leaders.
The overarching vision of APN is an Africa beyond aid. APN seeks to work to bring prosperity to Africa by creating the platforms for holding critical dialogues that will reshape the thinking of African leaders and encourage them to take bold steps in the areas of trade, the structure of national economies, political conduct and culture.
APN is also motivated to mobilise African leaders and initiate partnerships that place the people of Africa first while enhancing their standard of living.
APN is guided by values such as Trust, Diversity, Integrity, Boldness, Innovation, and Accountability as it works towards attaining its vision.
APN holds the view that for Africa’s growth and prosperity to be sustainable, it must be inclusive; prioritising the participation of small and medium scale Enterprises (SMEs), women, and young people in the economic narrative.
In order to achieve its vision, the Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD) represents APN’s flagship event; a platform dedicated to Africa’s business, political, and social sector leaders to discuss how to enhance intra-African trade as a catalyst for economic prosperity.
Founded in 1953, The Africa-America Institute (AAI) seeks to promote the continent’s development through higher education and skills training, convening activities, program implementation and management.
AAI’s primary model is that it identifies capacity-building projects and coordinate the programmatic, financial administration and evaluation necessary to deliver high-impact results.
The Institute raises funds to provide scholarships to smart and under-resourced students to attend top-performing African universities and develops programmes that focus on increasing the skills of the next generation of African youth so that they become globally competitive. AAI alumni are at the forefront of Africa’s public, non-profit, and private sectors.