AU Summit… Nana Calls For Single Mobile Platform

President Akufo-Addo


President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged Africa Union (AU) members to back the implementation of a mobile phone interoperability system that spans across the continent.

He argued that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can be realised more quickly if all member nations establish a continental interoperability network.

Addressing the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State of the AU over the weekend, President Akufo-Addo said this had been captured in the 2024 Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD 2024) Compact Document.

He stated that a “collective, aggressive embrace of the digital economy and its available tools” by African leaders will significantly boost the continent’s desire to become the world’s largest single market under the AfCFTA.

He described the interoperability as a “doable item” in the Compact, which participants at this year’s Africa Prosperity Dialogues unanimously agreed to implement to accelerate and deepen the single market project in Africa.

“It is a low-hanging fruit way of making AfCFTA immediately meaningful to tens of millions of people across Africa,” he suggested.

According to him, data presented during the Dialogues by the AFDB and supported by the GSM Association, indicated that nearly half of all Africans own a sim card and 28% of them have access to the internet.

“We saw a whopping US$832 billion worth of mobile money transactions in sub-Saharan Africa in 2022 alone.

“This $832 billion 2022 figure is estimated to have grown further by at least 30% last year and to grow significantly more if Africans are allowed to use their mobile money wallets to buy and sell across borders,” he posited.

President Akufo-Addo contended that the number would increase if all member states had a uniform interoperability system.

“Imagine for a moment a world where a market trader in Johannesburg can easily and securely send money to her family in Dakar, without the need for cumbersome currency exchanges or risky cash transfers,” he wooed the African leaders.

He stated that Africa had the potential to create a future in which people could easily buy goods and services in their local currencies across the continent using mobile phones, and added that the necessary technology was available to make it possible.

According to him, all that’s needed is political will, calling on his fellow leaders in Africa to give off their collective political will to bring about change right away.

“Also, interoperability, if implemented across the 55 states in Africa, is expected to do away with or considerably reduce roaming charges across the continent, as is the case throughout the European Union,” he argued.

The annual Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD) represents Africa Prosperity Network’s (APN’s) flagship event.

The three-day retreat, which is held in Ghana, is devoted to discussing and making practical decisions on how to expeditiously implement Africa’s crucial single market project as a means of attaining shared, sustainable prosperity for the continent’s 1.4 billion inhabitants.

The leaders of business, politics, and other institutions in Africa are expected to attend.

This year’s event was held at the Peduase Presidential Lodge in Aburi between January 25 and 27, 2024.

Over one thousand participants made up of presidents, prime ministers, ministers, other high-level government officials from across Africa, thought leaders, chief executive officers, and heads of national and multinational institutions, among others, attended the three-day programme.


By Ernest Kofi Adu