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Africa Prosperity Network (APN) inaugurates high-powered Advisory Council 

From left to right: Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, Ambassador Dr. Amina Mohamed, Dr. Eugene Owusu, Dr. Amany Asfour, Dr. Cesar Augusto Mba AbogoMrs. Patricia Poku Diaby, Christal Jackson, and Mr Joshua Siaw, MBE

The Advisory Council of Africa Prosperity Network (APN), a private sector-led organisation set up to get Africa’s business and political leaders working together in achieving the goal of economic integration and prosperity, held its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, 24 October 2023.

APN are the lead organisers of the annual Africa Prosperity Dialogues, in collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.

Other strategic partners are UNDP Africa, the Africa Business Council, AfDB, Afreximbank, ECA, APRM, among others, with the President of the Republic of Ghana, the host nation of the AfCFTA Secretariat, as host.

Membership of the APN Advisory Council is made up of reputable thought leaders on Africa, including, Global African icons, captains of industry, international corporate lawyers, international statesmen and stateswomen, and other high-profile Pan-African personalities.

Inaugurating the Advisory Council, the Executive Chairman of APN, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko thanked its 8 inaugural members, including 5 prominent women, and tasked them to use their rich and diverse experience, collective conviction, and deep passion for Africa to guide and promote the strong contribution that APN and its activities can make to Africa’s accelerated progress and prosperity.

From left to right: Mrs. Patricia Poku Diaby, Cesar Augusto Mba Abogo, Christal Jackson, and Mr Joshua Siaw, MBE

The next Africa Prosperity Dialogues will take place over three days, from Thursday, 25 January to Saturday, 27 January 2024 at Ghana’s presidential retreat, the Peduase Lodge, on the serene Aburi mountains of Ghana’s Eastern Region, a thirty-minute drive from the Kotoka International Airport, Accra.

The focus of next year’s dialogues will be on economic transformation in Africa as an essential project to deepening intra-Africa commerce, creating jobs for the youth, and making the continent’s nearly 1.4 billion people prosperous.

“The 3-day event will focus on four broad thematic areas: Agriculture & Food Sovereignty, Natural Resources and Value Addition, Manufacturing, and Intra-African Trade Enablers, such as Finance, Transport and Logistics,” Njack Kane, the acting Chief Executive Officer of APN said.

“We will use the occasion to showcase examples of how nations across Africa are adding value to their economies, what the others can learn from such stories, and actively promote the patronage of such products across member states,” Mr Otchere-Darko added.

A member of the Advisory Council, Dr Amany Asfour welcomed the opportunity of AU’s Africa Business Council offering strategic support to APN, by mobilising the various associations of industries across Africa to participate in the 2024 Africa Prosperity Dialogues dedicated to industrialisation in Africa.

For her part, Dr Amina Mohamed, commended the focus on “prosperity” as opposed to “poverty reduction” as a necessary mindset to pushing Africans to realise the continent’s vast potential.

Another member, Mrs Patricia Poku, an industrialist, with investments in cocoa processing in West Africa, described APN is a timeous platform to get Africa’s business leaders to work closely together in exploring ways to optimizing their businesses in the framework of Africa’s single market.

Mr Joshua Siaw, a renowned international transactional lawyer, saw his role as a leading global African in Europe, as using his vast network to attract greater investments to Africa by selling the promise that Africa represents as the largest single market in the world, under the auspices of the AfCFTA.

From left to right: Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, Ambassador Dr. Amina Mohamed, Dr. Eugene Owusu, Dr. Amany Asfour

APN aims to build a membership of 15 for its Advisory Council, which currently has 8 distinguished people from all of Africa’s 5 geographical regions represented, plus two other prominent figures from Global Africa’s two main locations, the Americas and Europe.

APN Advisory Council

Eight (8) members of the advisory board attended the maiden meeting which was held via video link. The members are:

Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, a distinguished African and global figure who has served on the cabinet of every post-apartheid South African president and has held several ministerial positions including Minister of Health, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs, among others.

Ambassador Dr. Amina Mohamed, a distinguished diplomat and public servant with a career spanning a decade of remarkable accomplishments. Amina Mohamed from 2000 to 2006, served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative for the Kenyan diplomatic mission in Geneva, and in April 2013, she was appointed Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

Eugene Owusu, Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Ghana on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is a distinguished International Policy and Development Management expert, who has committed over 25 years to advancing strategic leadership, advocating for positive change, and addressing complex political, development, and humanitarian challenges. Dr Eugene was the coordinator of the successful 2023 Africa Prosperity Dialogues, the compact from which was adopted by the 36th Summit of the Heads of State and Governments of the African Union, in Addis Ababa last February.

Amany Asfour, President, Africa Business Council. She is also the founder and President of the Egyptian Business Women Association, an organisation that supports SMEs and contributes to the advancement of women in the global market.

Patricia Poku Diaby, industrialist and CEO of Plot Enterprise, a multinational commodities company, with a strong presence in Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana.

Cesar Augusto Mba Abogo, until 2020, was the finance minister for Equatorial Guinea, and currently country manager of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Group for Mozambique. He is an economist with over 15 years of experience in natural resource economics, development economics, public policy, and international negotiations. Dr Mba Abogo is committed to driving positive change, fostering partnerships, and propelling economic growth across Africa and beyond.

Christal Jackson, Chairwoman, Africa-America Institute (AAI). Ms Jackson is a multifaceted professional who has forged a dynamic career in the fields of social impact, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy, with a steadfast commitment to advancing education, health, and economic opportunities for communities of colour. She is the founder of Mosaic Genius, which focuses on building sustainable ecosystem for wealth building in communities of colour throughout the world.

Mr Joshua Siaw, MBE, Partner, Global law firm White & Case LLP, and Director of the firm’s Africa practice. Mr Siaw advises corporates, governments and financial institutions on cross-border project development and funding projects in Africa. In January, he was appointed co-chair of the UK government’s Africa Investors Group (AIG). The advisory council was established by the government following the historic trade mission to Africa in 2018 by then Prime Minister Theresa May to facilitate increased trade and investment between the UK and Africa. Mr Siaw Co-Chairs the AIG, alongside His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, John Humphrey. The AIG is made up of a select group of leading UK businesses with significant investments and interests in Africa, including Vodafone, Unilever, Diageo, Anglo American, Standard Chartered Bank and BP, among others. Also, Mr Siaw is on the Advisory Council of King Charles III’s Green Canopy Initiative, first set up by the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The Africa Prosperity Network (APN) believes that Africa is on a path to championing its own prosperity agenda, by providing African solutions to African problems and making big strives to attain economic integration for sustainable growth and progressive prosperity.

To this end, the APN through its flagship event, the Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD), is poised to ensure that the African continent pursues an agenda that will unleash the continent’s full potential and put her on a permanent path of growth, development, and prosperity.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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