President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on African leaders to prioritize the establishment of intra-trade partnerships in order to ensure sustainable economic growth for the continent.
He emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement to guarantee food and economic security.
The President made this call during his address at the opening of the Seventh African Leadership Forum (ALF) in Accra.
Ghana is hosting this year's ALF under the theme “Promoting Intra-Africa Trade to Unlock Agricultural Potential in Africa.” The forum aims to highlight the agricultural potentials and opportunities arising from climate change, as well as discuss the challenges and practical requirements for implementing the AfCFTA.
The agenda of the forum is to identify priorities and develop a roadmap for implementing the agricultural trade perspective under the AfCFTA, with the goal of achieving its transformative economic objectives.
Several former African Heads of State, including those from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin, Liberia, Tunisia, and Tanzania, are participating in the forum.
Additionally, a diverse group of stakeholders involved in Africa's development, including technocrats, policymakers, agricultural scientists, small-holder farmers, business entities, and development partners, are also attending.
President Akufo-Addo emphasized that the AfCFTA Agreement represents a significant change and provides African nations with greater opportunities for business and progress. He highlighted that the agreement sets the stage for Africa's industrialization and growth.
The President expressed optimism that the forum would facilitate the sharing of experiences and lessons on overcoming obstacles, both internal and international, in order to maximize Africa's agricultural potential.
President Akufo-Addo stressed the importance of collaboration among African countries, stating that their strength lies in their collective numbers. He underscored the need for the continent to define its own narrative and strive towards producing enough to feed its people, considering the vast arable land and natural resources available.
The President emphasized that establishing food security is crucial for addressing hunger, achieving sustainable economic development, and ensuring long-term prosperity.
President Akufo-Addo further highlighted the significance of adding value to Africa's agro-based products to enhance exports, drive GDP growth, and create new employment opportunities.
He emphasized that African leaders must demonstrate bold leadership by adopting appropriate policies to ensure robust African trade.
Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, former President of Tanzania and ALF Patron called for a renewed commitment to the principles of the AfCFTA Agreement.
The AfCFTA is a flagship project of Agenda 2063, aiming to boost intra-African trade, particularly in value-added production and across all sectors of Africa's economy, by eliminating trade barriers and promoting trade in critical areas such as digital trade and investment protection.
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