Africa’s business giants hit Ghana for Africa Prosperity Dialogues

The three-day retreat which began on Thursday 26 January 2023, will reach a climax this Saturday, 28 January, when President Akufo-Addo will host the participants at the presidential retreat, Peduase Lodge,

High Profile African business leaders are in Ghana to participate in the maiden edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD), an indigenous African initiative aimed at proposing signature policies to ensure the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in fully implemented.

The three-day retreat which began on Thursday 26 January 2023, will reach a climax this Saturday, 28 January, when President Akufo-Addo will host the participants at the presidential retreat, Peduase Lodge,on the Akuapem mountain.

Among those attending are Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, financial guru, Tony Elumelu of the United Bank of Africa (UBA), Ralph Mupita, Group CEO of Africa’s biggest telecommunication company (MTN), Kenyan billionaire Julius Mwale and Ethiopian Airways Group chief executive officer (CEO) Mesfin Tasew Bekele.

The Dialogues

The dialogues began after the Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the secretary general of the AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene performed the opening ceremony with a high-level session on the topic; “What will it take to make the AfCFTA work: Critical Policy, Productivity Factors, Legal, Institutional and Political Actions.

The session had Joy Kategekwa, Senior Strategy Advisor, UNDP AFRICA moderating with Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communication and digitalization, Mohamed Ali, Director, Trade in Goods and Competition Policy at AfCFTA, Zemedeneh Negatu, Global Chairman, Fairfax African Fund LLC, Dr Kojo Busia, AMV Resources Partners Pty Ltd and Bobby Banson, Founder and Senior Consultant, Robert Smith Law, contributing to the session.

“Transitioning from Ambition to Action: Addressing Infrastructural, Food and Energy Deficit” was the second key focus area for the second session. Inadequate infrastructure which continues to be a major impediment to Africa achieving its full economic growth potential, was the main subject for discussion by the panel.

Dr Stephen Karingi, Director, Trade Policy Division, UNECA was the Lead Presenters for the session. Seth Twum Akwaboah, of the Association of Ghana Industries, Bruno Jean Richard ITOUA, Minister for Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo, Abel Alemu, Managing Director for Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services, were part of the panel.

Other panel member were Chidochashe Nicolette Ncube of the Investment and Development Agency, Zimbabwe, Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe, Secretary General COMESA and Kadri Lomo, Executive Stratcom & Trading Limited Energy and Trading.

The third session of day one of the dialogues focused on “leveraging finance, technology and innovation. The need for sufficient financial instruments and investment to facilitate the supply chain process, as a catalyst for trade transactions between importers and exporters to preserve trade balance was the main focus of this session.

Moderated by Gayheart Mensah, Board member of APN, the session had Michael Ogbalu, Managing Director of the Pan-African Payments and Settlements System as the lead presenter.

The panellists included Ms. Emily Mburu-Ndoria, Director of Trade in Services, Investment, Intellectual Property Rights and Digital Trade, AfCFTA, Corine Mbiaketcha, head of financial capital at AfCFTA, Moses Baiden Jnr, CEO and Executive Chairman, Margins ID Group and Foster Akugri, Founder, Hackla.

Wilberforce Asare

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