The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Policy Network (APN) has conferred an honorary membership on the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
During a courtesy call on the Vice-President at the Jubilee House, executives of the network also invited Dr Bawumia to an upcoming flagship programme of the network — the Africa Globalized Investment Summit in Seychelles in 2023.
The APN was established in 2019 as the lead and largest international non-governmental organisation (NGO) focused primarily as a think tank on AfCFTA implementation.
The delegation included the Board Chairman of the APN, Dr Joe Tackie; the Executive Director, Louis Afful; the Deputy Executive Director, Emmanuel K. Bensah; the Executive Director, APN Women of Africa Network, Audrey Biney; the Executive Counsel of Women of Africa and Leader, USA delegation, Joyce Williams.
The rest were the Special Advisor to APN Executive Director, Kwasi Okyere-Boateng; the Head of Administration, Hannah Hayford Affriyie; President/Co-Founder of African Professionals Network, Prof. Faisal Ellis; the Director of Strategic Partnerships, University of Cincinnati, Jenny Sutmoller; the Vice-Provost of International Affairs, Raj Mehta; Julia Lartey of Jex Travel and Tours Ltd, and member of APN, Gertrude Ankah Nyavi.
The Board Chair of the APN expressed gratitude to the Vice-President for his reception and continuous support to the AfCFTA.
He said the APN had devoted its time to support the government to make AfCFTA a success.
The AfCFTA, with its headquarters in Ghana, is aimed at boosting intra-African trade and strengthening Africa’s trading position on the global market.
Dr Tackie added that the APN was raising awareness so that stakeholders could understand the initiatives, stressing that it was playing this role through its programmes which were focused on the youth, women, manufacturing, and technology, among others.
He explained that the Africa Globalized Investment Summit would seek to woo investors outside Africa to take opportunities through the free trade area.
For his part, the Executive Director of APN, Mr. Louis Afful said APN is currently exploring the activities of the manufacturing industry for the purpose of helping to generate greater synergy between manufacturing in Ghana and trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area.
He further disclosed that APN has begun discussions with international investors for the establishment of an ‘Investment Hope City’ hub to support the growth of entrepreneurship on the African continent.
He said the investment hub will be a centre of excellence on issues concerning the AfCFTA and businesses on the continent.
He explained that “the focus is to have an APN tower which will be a centre of excellence. Also, we want to have a tourism eco system.”
Veep commends APN
Dr Bawumia noted that the potential impact of the AfCFTA on the economy of Africa was huge, noting that AfCFTA had the potential to be the game changer for the transformation of Africa’s economies.
He commended the APN for its quest to help with the actualisation of the policy.
Dr Bawumia said the current government had chalked up successes in terms of technological advancement than any other government in Ghana.
He mentioned mobile money interoperability, the GhanaPost digital address system digitalisation, digitisation in public service delivery, integration of national databases using the Ghana Card, and the use of drones to deliver health services as some of the achievements.
Dr Bawumia further stated that the government since 2017 had used digitisation to fast-track public service delivery, which had also helped to reduce corruption in public services.
Mrs Williams called for an enabling environment so that Ghanaians in the diaspora could invest in the country.
She bemoaned the difficulty and bureaucratic processes encountered in trying to invest in the Ghanaian economy.
But Dr Bawumia reiterated the government’s effort to improve the economy for the greater good of the business community and the country at large.
He stressed that the government had resolved to develop a holistic and a sustainable approach for a long-term solution towards addressing the challenges confronting the economy.