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Africa needs economic model that serves interest of continent – President Akufo-Addo

The time has come for Africa to move towards an economic model which first serves the interest of the continent, says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He said a paradigm shift, such as the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative, had become imperative to withstand the sudden and dramatic disruptions to supply chains for essential products and the increasingly frequent global crises.

The President, addressing the 2024 World Economic Forum (WEF) event on ‘Driving Action under the African Continental Free Trade Area’, at Davos, Switzerland, urged the continent to show resilience in overcoming market dominance by a few actors.

Additionally, the leaders ought to work assiduously to reduce structural and regulatory barriers to market entry.

‘It is a well-known fact that, for Africa to grow, she must overcome a legacy of market fragmentation, stemming from the many political and economic barriers that have stifled the continent’s developmental potential,’ he stated.

He assured of Ghana’s commitment to hosting the AfCFTA Secretariat, and that it believed in the vision for the initiative.

AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063, Africa’s development framework, with the objective of creating a single market for goods and services, facilitated by the movement of persons.

The aim is to deepen the economic integration of the continent in accordance with the Pan African Vision of ‘an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa’.

The initiative seeks to promote industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security, and

also create a liberalised market for goods and services through successive rounds of negotiations.

President Nana Akufo-Addo called for effective private sector-led participation to ensure the success of the initiative.

‘Critically, active private sector participation will be key to the success of this transformational initiative.

‘Excellencies, let us not lose sight of t
he fact that the AfCFTA is not a government initiative, rather it represents the first step toward empowering our private sector to lead the economic emancipation and transformation of our continent,’ he noted.

The World Bank says the global economy is a source of growth that African economies cannot afford to ignore.

While African exports of goods and services have seen their fastest growth in the past decade, the volumes remain low at just three per cent of global trade.

‘The time is ripe for policymakers to expand their thinking beyond traditional approaches and traditional markets, if they want to play an active role in international trade in the 21st century,’ said Ousmane Diagana, the World Bank Vice President for Western and Central Africa.

The agenda for the WEF 2024 is structured around four key themes – achieving security and cooperation in a fractured world, creating growth and jobs for a new era, artificial intelligence as a driving force for the economy and society, and a long-term strategy f
or climate, nature and energy.

Source: Ghana News Agency