African leaders and entrepreneurs who met in Accra, Ghana, have committed themselves to pursuing the production of goods, boosting value-addition to raw materials and increasing intra-African trade.
They made the pledge at the 2024 Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD) organised by the Africa Prosperity Network (APN), the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), under the auspices of the Government of Ghana from 25 to 27 January 2024.
Top business leaders, who participated in the dialogues committed to five endeavours: Firstly, to collaborate with central banks, financial institutions and key stakeholders to bolster investments in technology, ensuring the interoperability and standardisation of payment systems across the continent, while actively pursuing enhanced efficiency and consistency in the payment ecosystem.
Secondly, enhance the production of diversified and value-added manufacturing goods to elevate African nations along the value chain and thirdly, increase investments in digitalisation and technology to bolster integration within regional and global value chains.
They are also committed to embracing technologies that enhance agribusinesses through the adoption of modern agricultural practices, including precision farming, drone technology, and Internet of Things (IoT)-based solutions, aiming to significantly improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability within the agricultural sector.
Lastly, business leaders and captains of industry pledged to prioritise investments in critical minerals essential for various emerging technologies while ensuring environmentally sustainable mining practices.
The Heads of State and representatives of various governments across the African continent who participated in the dialogues included Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, and Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia.
The rest were Adriano Maleiane Prime Minister of Mozambique, Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, Vice President of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Ibrahim Boughali, Speaker of the People’s National Assembly of Algeria, Mohamed M. Abou El Enein – Deputy Speaker of Egypt’s House of Representatives and Chairman & Founder, Cleopatra Group, Egypt.
At the end of the summit with business leaders, the heads of state and government representatives committed to pursuing some strategic policies.
They agreed to leverage public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements to increase investments in infrastructure development, with a specific focus on transportation, logistics and digital infrastructure, while fostering deeper intra-African trade and enhancing connectivity for African countries to global markets.
Also, oil-rich African nations would actively foster the development of integrated refineries by leveraging innovative financing mechanisms and private sector participation. The adoption of such integrated operations aims not only to diminish reliance on imported petrochemicals but also to relieve pressure on the country’s constrained foreign exchange reserves, ultimately contributing to improved macroeconomic stability.
Others include deepening regional integration efforts and leveraging the AfCFTA to integrate into regional and global value chains and utilise regional economic communities to enhance intra-African trade, creating larger markets and economies of scale.
Formulate and implement policies that bolster African companies, including start-ups, enabling their integration at higher levels within regional and global value chains. The overarching goal is to achieve substantial economic growth, prosperity, poverty reduction, and sustainability in the social sector.”
And increase investments in agriculture to significantly support smallholder farmers, providing them access to modern farming techniques, high-quality seeds, fertilisers, irrigation systems, and essential agricultural infrastructure. This will enhance food production and increase productivity.”
The rest are to promote climate-smart agricultural methods, encompassing conservation farming, agroforestry, and the cultivation of drought-resistant crop varieties and provide support to farmers in adapting to shifting climate patterns and mitigating crop losses caused by extreme weather events.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD