President Akufo-Addo has reiterated his call for leaders on the African continent to foster intra-trade partnership.
That, he said, will enable them to reap the full benefit of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement to guarantee food and economic security, describing AfCFTA as a game-changer which presents the people with more opportunities in doing business for the continent’s progress.
Addressing the African Leadership Forum (ALF) in Accra yesterday under the theme: “Promoting Intra-Africa Trade to Unlock Agricultural Potential in Africa”, he said the time has come for the continent to define its own narratives in respect of producing enough to feed the people.
That, he said, was achievable given the continent’s vast arable land and natural resources.
The African Leadership Forum is aimed at highlighting the continent’s agricultural potentials and opportunities emerging from climate change, discuss the obstacles, as well as practical and realistic requirements for implementing the AfCFTA.
The agenda is to identify priorities and roadmap for implementation of the agricultural trade perspective under the Agreement in order to realise its transformative economic objective.
Some eight former African heads of state from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin, Liberia, Tunisia and Tanzania are participating in the Forum.
A cross-section of stakeholders in the continent’s development, comprising technocrats, policymakers, agricultural scientists and smallholder farmers, business entities, as well as development partners are also in attendance.
President Akufo-Addo was optimistic the Forum would help the participants to share experiences and lessons on the obstacles (internal and international) in maximising the continent’s agricultural potential.
He was of the view that no country could afford to do it alone, saying “our strength lies in our numbers.”
The Ghanaian leader also stressed the need to establish food security for millions of people facing hunger in Africa, and also crucial for sustainable economic development and long-term prosperity of the continent.
He stressed the need for the continent to work assiduously in adding value to its agro-based products to enhance exports, accelerate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and create new jobs, insisting on the need for African leaders to demonstrate bold leadership by adopting the right policies to ensure robust African trade.
Former Tanzanian President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, a Patron of the African Leadership Forum, called for renewed commitment to the tenets of the AfCFTA Agreement.
AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063.
It is a high ambition trade agreement, with a comprehensive scope that includes critical areas of Africa’s economy, such as digital trade and investment protection, amongst other areas.
By eliminating barriers to trade in Africa, the objective of the Agreement is to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, particularly trade in value-added production and trade across all sectors of Africa’s economy.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent