ICC , AfCFTA Secretariat to support sustainable supply chain in Africa
In an effort to deepen trade and investment within Africa, the National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce called on the Secretary General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat.
Traditionally, there has been a low integration of Africa into global value chains as well as low regional integration, resulting in lost potential for development and economic prosperity. The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential ease the flow of goods, services, and investment across an economic area of more than 1.3 billion people.
The World Bank estimates that a full implementation of the AfCFTA will result in more jobs and income growth, possibly lifting up to 50 million people out of extreme poverty by 2035 – critically contributing to the recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the current geopolitical crisis having rippling effects across the globe and in particular in Africa, threatening food security of millions of people, it is more important than ever to accelerate Africa’s regional integration to help build resilience of supply chains to external shocks and create an environment for investments.
Supply chains have experienced and are continuing to experience major disruptions. Hosting 10 of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, Africa and supply chains in the region are exposed to significant risks for further disruptions.
ICC’s mission is to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere. Global trade and the facilitation of goods and services across supply chains are key engines of economic development.
The ICC Africa Supply Chain Summit will serve as an annual platform to exchange ideas and collaborate on the impact of market dynamics and new technologies for current and future supply chain and operations leaders. This maiden event creates an opportunity to examine how to navigate supply chain disruptions within the AfCFTA as well as how sustainable supply chain management, advanced technologies, process improvement and automation are being rolled out and can be leveraged in Africa.
The Secretary General of ICC Ghana, Mr. Emmanuel Doni-Kwame recounted efforts undertaken by the International Chamber of Commerce to promote the AfCFTA Single Africa Market in the past few years. He said WTC Accra organized top Ghanaian businesses and government officials to participate in 2014 ECOMONDO in Italy and a Ghana Country Presentation organized with UNIDO ITPO and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy. To leverage the successes chalked, another business delegation would be organized to participate in this year’s ECOMONDO in November and a Ghana Country Presentation will be organized in 2018.
Mr. Doni-Kwame informed the Ambassador that the cordial relationship WTC Accra has built over the years continuous to benefit the national economy as it is currently organizing the participation of officials from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and Africa World Airlines which is co- founded by its Executive Chairman, Togbe Afede XIV, to the “Padova Looking Ahead and Beyond 2017” study tour of the aerospace sector in Italy.
He said though most people have shown interest in oil and gas exploration in Ghana, they are waiting for the outcome of the Ghana-Cote D’ivoire dispute settlement. He said a favourable ruling for Ghana would help to draw more Italian oil and gas companies to Ghana.
Mr. Doni-Kwame also mentioned that promoting the WTC concept on the African continent is of paramount importance to WTC Accra. First among the reasons is the great strides African countries have made over the last few decades in terms of economic development and the need to help integrate African countries into the multilateral and plurilateral trading system. He said the upcoming Continent Free Trade Agreement will inure to the benefit of Africans but doing this will require that the necessary synergies are created to ensure that trade is facilitated. ‘This is what the WTC Accra seeks to achieve by helping to establish other WTCs in other African countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa and Cote d’ivoire’, he said. He expressed his delight at the ongoing construction of a World Trade Centre in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, and noted that this would further boost trade and integration on the continent.
The Ambassador of Italy, Giovanni Favilli on his part indicated that the story of Africa over the last few decades has changed dramatically from a continent of little progress to one with numerous opportunities. He said Africa despite it challenges, it continuous to rise to the admiration of many over the world. The story of Africa is now ‘Africa rising’, he opined. There is the need for technology and information exchange in order to harness the opportunities in Africa. ‘It is for this reason that the Embassy sees the WTC Accra as a credible partner to work with in Ghana’ he said. He said there is a strong interest in Africa now than before and assured that Italy would work collaboratively with Ghana to grow each other’s economies.
He said facilitating trade and investment between the two countries is the main focus of the Italian Embassy in Ghana and therefore sees the need to build strategic relationship with the World Trade Centre Accra. Besides trade and investment, the Ambassador said addressing irregular migration is also of utmost importance to Italy.