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Lighting of the Africa Trade Torch moved permanently to Africa Prosperity Dialogues

The lighting of the symbolic Africa Trade Torch (ATT) has been moved to the Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD) by the Africa Business Council (ABC), initiators of the ATT.

The ATT is a private sector initiative to popularise the idea of the AfCFTA among African peoples and the African private sector, including owners of small and medium-sized enterprises, women, and the youth.

ATT is an opportunity for the private sector to show its commitment to the operationalisation of the AfCFTA.

The lighting of the ATT, which is under the auspices of the Africa Business Council, led by its president, Amany Asfour, has been carried out on 20 January each year for the past two years.

APD attendees join to light the “Africa Trade Torch”.

However, the Africa Business Council has decided to hold the ceremony this year and in the years ahead at the Africa Prosperity Dialogues.

President Irfaan Ali of Guyana, Joaquim Alberto Chissano, the former president of the Republic of Mozambique and chairman of the Africa Forum, supported by President Akufo-Addo and other heads of state and government, took part in the lighting of the Africa Trade Torch together with Wamkele Mene, Dr Asfour and other dignitaries on Saturday, 27 January 2024 during the closing ceremony of the 2024 Africa Prosperity Dialogues.

Several African heads of state and another from the Caribbean, as well as several top business and thought leaders from across the African continent and the diaspora, participated in the second edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD), which took place from Thursday, 25 to Saturday, 27 January 2024.

APD 2024

APD 2024 was organised by the Africa Prosperity Network (APN) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, based in Accra, with support from the Government of Ghana.

Among the heads who attended the APD 2024 were the host, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, as well as Their Excellencies Mohammed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana; and Sahle-Worķ Zewde, President of Ethiopia.

President Akufo-Addo (middle) with Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, (left) and Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia (right) at the APD

Other top government officials who will grace the occasion are the prime minister of Mozambique, His Excellency Adriano Maleiane; the vice-president of Côte d’Ivoire, Tiémoko Koné; the Speaker of the People’s National Assembly of Algeria, Ibrahim Boughali; and the secretary general of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene.

Business leaders

Heads of leading businesses and institutions on the African continent who have also confirmed their participation are Professor Benedict Okey Oramah (president of Afreximbank); Mohamed Abou EI Enein (chairman and founder, Cleopatra Group); Sidi Ould Tah (director general of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa/BADEA); Ahunna Eziakonwa (assistant secretary of the regional bureau for Africa at UNDP); Solomon Quaynor (vice-president of the African Development Bank/AfDB); and Bridgette Radebe (president of the South African Mining Development Association).

Others guests are Cherif Abdallah (chairman of the CONEX Group of Companies, Liberia); Precious Moloi-Motsepe (Chancellor of the University of Cape Town); Ernest Addison (Governor of the Bank of Ghana); Marufatu Abiola Bawuah (chief executive officer of UBA Africa); Alex Dadey (chairman of KGL); Julius Mwale (principal behind Mwale Medical and Technology City in Kenya); and Lacina Koné (chief executive of Smart Africa).

Ibrahim Mahama, founder of engineers and planners and CEO of Dzata Cement speaking during the first high-level session at the APD

Also among the panellists and speakers will be Wale Tinubu (chief executive officer of Oando pIc); Yofi Grant (chief executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre/GIPC); Serge Ekué (president of the West African Development Bank/BOAD); Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah (chief executive officer of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation); and Ebenezer Asante (senior vice-president in charge of markets for the MTN Group).

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