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“It’s time to move from mere negotiations to trading among ourselves” H.E. Joao Baptista Domingos Quiosa, the Angolan Ambassador to Ghana

On June 24, 2022, the Africa Prosperity Network (APN) invited members of the African Diplomatic Corps to a cocktail soiree, at APN’s offices in Labone, Accra, Ghana, to officially announce to them the oncoming summit of Africa’s political and business leaders scheduled to take place in Kwahu, Ghana, this October.

The Kwahu Summit on Africa’s Prosperity is an initiative of the African Prosperity Network, in partnership with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, the Afreximbank and the Office of the President of the Republic of Ghana, among other key institutions and organisations

With AfCFTA tasked by the African Union to complete building the world’s largest single market of Africa’s 54 member states over this decade, the Kwahu Summit is designed to bring the leadership of Africa’s private sector fully on board this crucial transformational process.

Speaking in Kigali, Rwanda last week at the Commonwealth Business Forum, the MTN Group President and CEO, Ralph Mupita, welcomed the Kwahu Summit as “timely, and a necessary platform to get Africa’s business leaders fully engaged (along with the political leaders) in the process of deepening intra-Africa trade,” throwing the weight of his Pan-African telecom giant “fully behind it.”

At the cocktail for the diplomats in Accra last Friday, H.E. Joao Baptista Domingos Quiosa, the Angolan ambassador to Ghana, spoke for all the ambassadors in showing their full endorsement for the Summit. He spoke on behalf of H.E. Zagre Pingrenoma, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps.

He said it was about time Africans shifted from the negotiations and dialogues on Africa’s integration and trade to a more facilitative approach to implementing the AfCFTA framework and saw this meeting on minds between political and business heads as very significant to the progress of free trade in action across Africa

In his words:“The group of African Ambassadors are glad to be a part of this program in October and will work together with Africa Prosperity Network to see that this summit is a success, because we believe in it. It’s time to move forward from just dialogues and negotiations of African trade and start putting into practice some of the things we need to do. The first thing we need to do is trade among ourselves, trade between Ghana and Togo, trade between Ghana and Angola, trade between Angola and Zimbabwe. It’s time we start trading as against the mere negations. Therefore, we the Ambassadors have decided to take the message home and to ensure this programme is a success.”The Kwahu Summit takes place at the Rock City Hotel and Conference Centre in Kwahu, from 27th October to 30th October 2022.More than 15 African heads of state from all regions of the continent will attend to dialogue with CEOs and group chairman of industries operating in Africa. Other thought leaders and influential people of African descent will attend these high-level dialogues which “will put action onto the AfCFTA agreement and expedite its implementation,” according to Dr Nkiru Balonwu, Executive Director of APN.Speaking at Friday’s Soirée, the Hon. Ampratwum Kwaku Sarpong, Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, expressed his joy at the “proactive move” on the part of private sector players to join the conversation that will promote intra-Africa trade and commerce and take Africa closer to economic integration

Speaking in Kigali, Rwanda last week at the Commonwealth Business Forum, the MTN Group President and CEO, Ralph Mupita, welcomed the Kwahu Summit as “timely, and a necessary platform to get Africa’s business leaders fully engaged (along with the political leaders) in the process of deepening intra-Africa trade,” throwing the weight of his Pan-African telecom giant “fully behind it.”

At the cocktail for the diplomats in Accra last Friday, H.E. Joao Baptista Domingos Quiosa, the Angolan ambassador to Ghana, spoke for all the ambassadors in showing their full endorsement for the Summit. He spoke on behalf of H.E. Zagre Pingrenoma, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps.

He said it was about time Africans shifted from the negotiations and dialogues on Africa’s integration and trade to a more facilitative approach to implementing the AfCFTA framework and saw this meeting on minds between political and business heads as very significant to the progress of free trade in action across Africa

He reaffirmed the full commitment of the Ghana Government to making this annual dialogue not only a reality but one that will be meaningful to achieving the goal of creating prosperity across Africa through economic integration.

Dr. Eugene Owusu, Executive Director, and Coordinator – Summit Secretariat, expressed his gratitude to the Diplomats, who had conveyed the support of the various countries. “Over 500 business personalities and political leaders will gather in Kwahu, Ghana, to discuss how the continent can best take advantage of its own narrative and resources to accomplish more,” he declared.

BACKGROUND

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a flagship project of Agenda 2063 of the African Union – Africa’s own development vision. Launched on 1 January 2021, the AfCFTA is considered an exciting gamechanger and a revolutionary continental initiative aimed at setting a prosperity agenda for Africa with an inward-looking approach to its development agenda. Envisioned to be Africa’s strategy to accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position in the global market, the AfCFTA falls squarely in line with the philosophy behind an Africa Beyond Aid. With a population of some 1.3 billion and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at $3.4 trillion, the AfCFTA seeks to strengthen Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations at such a time when much of the world is turning away from cooperation and free trade.

Recent global geopolitical dynamics such as the Covid 19 Pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict have on one hand, exposed the inherent vulnerabilities of the African Continent and on the other hand, demonstrated Africa’s resilience and the resolve to tackle its own developmental challenges.

The Kwahu Summit, therefore, provides a unique annual platform for Africa’s key stakeholders to identify common grounds for the effective implementation of the continental initiative and shape the Africa Agenda for Action.

Major discussions during the Kwahu Summit will centre around the legal framework and dispute settlement mechanisms to underpin the free movements of people, goods and services across member states, how to overcome non-tariff barriers to free trade, industrialising Africa beyond aid, leveraging Agriculture for prosperity and food security, ease of cross-border transportation Transport, financing trade and infrastructure across Africa, the role of technology in facilitating trade, and energy security in Africa. The first of these African Prosperity dialogues being held this year at the Rock City under the theme – “AfCFTA: From Ambition to Action- Delivering Prosperity Through Continental Trade”.

“For four days we will host the decision makers of Africa in both business and politics and offer them a deliberate platform to think together, and plan together to work together for the prosperity of Africa and Africans. Political will backed by the commitment of business is how we achieve the vision of our founding leaders for a united, prosperous Africa, where the wealth of Africa benefits first the people and continent of Africa,” said Hannah Awuku, the Executive Secretary of APN.

The main discussions at the summit will take place on October 28th and 29th. More details are available on www.kwahusummit.com

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