President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has emphasized the need for Africa to adopt an economic model that prioritizes the continent's interests.
Speaking at the 2024 World Economic Forum (WEF) event on “Driving Action under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” President Akufo-Addo stressed the significance of a paradigm shift to withstand global disruptions and crises.
The President urged African leaders to embrace the AfCFTA initiative, emphasizing its importance in overcoming market fragmentation and addressing political and economic barriers hindering the continent's development.
He highlighted Ghana's commitment to hosting the AfCFTA Secretariat, expressing belief in the initiative's vision.
President Akufo-Addo called for resilience in facing market dominance by a few actors and urged leaders to reduce structural and regulatory barriers for market entry.
He underscored the role of active private sector participation in the success of the AfCFTA, emphasizing that the initiative empowers the private sector to lead Africa's economic emancipation.
“The AfCFTA is not a government initiative; rather, it represents the first step toward empowering our private sector to lead the economic emancipation and transformation of our continent,” noted President Akufo-Addo.
The World Bank, represented by Ousmane Diagana, Vice President for Western and Central Africa, highlighted the importance of African economies in the global context.
While African exports have seen growth, accounting for only three percent of global trade, Diagana urged policymakers to expand their thinking beyond traditional approaches and markets.
The WEF 2024 focuses on key themes, including achieving security and cooperation, creating growth and jobs, artificial intelligence's impact, and a long-term strategy for climate, nature, and energy.