Heads of state from across the eight regional blocs on the African continent are expected to participate in the maiden Africa Prosperity Dialogues which launch in Ghana tomorrow.
The serial event, also dubbed the Kwahu Summit, will involve captains of industry, entrepreneurs, economists, bankers and other business leaders in Africa taking part in three days of discussion about what needs to be done next to expand trade and wealth creation across the continent.
The maiden Africa Prosperity Dialogues, organised by the Africa Prosperity Network (APN), will take place from Thursday (26 January) to Saturday (28 January) in the Akuapem Mountains.
The Africa Prosperity Dialogues is a strategic platform where movers and shakers in the African economy will elevate the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreeement (AfCFTA) from ambition to real action.
The summit will be a focused event where African leaders from diverse areas of national endeavour will gather each year to discuss and share experiences on initiatives required for Africa to achieve the goal of shared prosperity and to review the Africa Agenda for Action.
Kweku Obeng Adjei, the communications manager for the summit, is optimistic that it will help shape progress and development on the African continent.
“APN is excited that the much-awaited Africa Prosperity Dialogues are finally here and once again Ghana will be in the spotlight as Africa gathers in the centre of the world. We are hopeful that this ambition will translate into action to transform Africa,” he said.
An embarrassment of riches
The rest of the world seems to be moving a little faster than the African continent.
Africa is arguably the richest in resources. This, however, has not seen a correspondent response in its development.
The continent has been battling with structural vulnerabilities for years, depending too heavily on natural resource exports. Without question, Africa needs to take greater control of its destiny, and urgently.
It is in this context that the African Continental Free Trade Area was birthed in 2018, and the AfCFTA still faces practical challenges.
African countries need to take pragmatic measures to propel the continent to a level where it can compete favourably with the others.
The AfCFTA aims to create a single market for goods and services, facilitated by the movement of people, and to deepen the economic integration of the African continent in accordance with the pan-African vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa”, enshrined in the African Union’s development policy Agenda 2063.
It is also designed to create a liberalised market for goods and services through successive rounds of negotiations; to contribute to the movement of capital and people; and to facilitate investment that will build on initiatives and developments in the continent’s regional economic communities (RECs) and state parties to the AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA further aims to lay the foundation for a continental customs union at a later stage and to promote sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, gender equality and structural transformation of the state parties.
The trading bloc intends to enhance the competitiveness of the economies of state parties across the continent within the global market. Other objectives are to promote industrial development through diversification, regional value chain development, agricultural development and by achieving food security.
This is why the Africa Prosperity Dialogues/Kwahu Summit 2023, under the auspices of the Africa Prosperity Network, is organising this forum over the next three days. It is bringing together Africa’s leading voices to think, plan and work together for Africa’s single market.
The Dialogues will also be used to unlock infrastructure blockages to businesses, big or small, trading better across Africa.
The Africa Prosperity Dialogues will allow the continent’s top chief executives, young initiators of start-ups and women entrepreneurs to take ownership of the process of making the AfCFTA work, and thereby bring about smoother and deeper intra-African trade. The Dialogues offer businesses of all sizes a unique opportunity to meet with political leaders to join forces and address a host of practical challenges to wealth creation.
Participants in the summit will include:
African heads of state
Heads of regional economic communities in the AU
Heads of Africa’s multinational corporations
Leading African entrepreneurs
The AU Secretariat
The AfCFTA Secretariat
The CARICOM Secretariat
Ministers of finance, trade, industry and infrastructure
Young entrepreneurs in Africa and the African diaspora
Heads of multinational corporations with a strong presence in Africa
Heads of trade associations
Heads of national investment organisations
Heads of development banks
Heads of Africa-focused organisations
Influential figures from the African diaspora
Heads of state-owned corporations
The summit will open at the Safari Valley Resort in Adukrom in the Eastern Region (26 and 27 January 2023) and conclude with a closed-door, high-level political/business forum the following day (28 January) at the Peduase Presidential Lodge near Aburi, also in the Eastern Region.