Ghana: Kwahu Summit announced to boost intra-Africa trade

By Jonas Nyabor
Posted on Friday, 27 May 2022 08:30

Ghana's minister of information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah. (photo supplied)

Ghana hosts the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat. Now, the government wants to gather the continent’s business and political leaders for an annual convention to drive Africa’s single continental market agenda: the Kwahu Summit, 28 & 29 October 2022.

The Ghana government is backing a pan-African initiative to rally the continent’s business leaders, politicians and policy makers to drive intra-regional trade within the AfCFTA framework.

The initiative – known as the Kwahu Summit – will be an annual platform to discuss Africa’s growth opportunities and bring into practical focus the continent’s challenges and industrialisation priorities.

“The AfCFTA has been established and the secretariat is in Ghana, but it will take deliberate acts that seek to engineer or stimulate trade relationships and build networks among ourselves to really turn the tide of our international trade,” Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told a pre-launch event in Accra.

Africa accounts for just 2% of global trade, with intra-continental exports pegged around 18%, far lower than the rate of 59% for Asia and 68% for Europe.

Africa will see the next potential wave of growth in the consumer market in the world due to its demography

The World Bank estimates the AfCFTA could boost regional income by 7%, lifting nearly 30 million people out of poverty by 2035.

With Africa’s combined GDP valued at $3.4trn, Wamkele Mene, the executive secretary of the AfCFTA secretariat, says the Kwahu Summit will help to accelerate implementation of the trade agreement and meet its target of doubling the continent’s combined GDP to $7bn by 2035.

“Through harmonising […] policy and trade and investment rules, and effective implementation of trade facilitation measures, we believe this vision to boost intra-Africa trade certainly is within reach. I expect the Kwahu Summit to provide thought leadership on a range of issues for us to accelerate the goals of an Africa that is prosperous, industrialised and independent economically,” he said.

Youthful demography

Yofi Grant, the chief executive officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), said the continent has the greatest opportunity for exponential economic growth, given its youthful demography and large share of global natural resources. However, the lack of a common platform for the continent’s leaders to dialogue on the way forward has limited its impact.

“Africa will see the next potential wave of growth in the consumer market in the world due to its demography and so we need to have this conversation and bring the best of our minds together to transform the world,” he said.

The Africa Prosperity Network is organising the Kwahu Summit with the Ghana government, AfCFTA Secretariat and GIPC as partners.

The maiden edition of the Kwahu Summit on Africa’s prosperity will take place at the Rock City Hotel in Kwahu, Eastern Region of Ghana on 28 and 29 October 2022.

The focus will be on the continent’s technological environment, transportation, barriers to trade and investment, energy sector security, agriculture and food security and trade financing.

The summit is open to heads and ministers of states, development banks, young entrepreneurs, heads of trade associations, multinational corporations with strong presence in Africa, Africans in the diaspora, and other strategic leaders.

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