The second AfroChampions Boma themed: “Africa’s New Deal for Sustainable Green Growth and Industrialization,” planned for October 8 – 11, 2019 is currently on-going at the Rwandan capital, Kigali; boma is the Swahili expression for a gathering to discuss issues of interest to the community.
The boma on Africa’s green industrialisation is the second by AfroChampions Initiative, following the first boma on Infrastructure Financing and Delivery which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, in April 2019.
Driven by prominent private and public sector Africans “in recognition of the fact that the emergence of homegrown pan-African companies represents something very special in the history and struggle of Africa”, the AfroChampions Initiative’s mission is “To forge innovative partnerships between the private and public sector that facilitate the birth of a critical mass of African multinational companies and their graduation into African global giants.”
Speaking Wednesday at the launch of the Trillion Dollar Investment Framework for Africa in Support of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as part of the on-going boma, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, His Excellency Albert Muchanga, said while it was the duty of African governments to lay the policy, legal and regulatory frameworks for the recently operationalized AfCFTA, the African Union needed the private sector to make it work.
“With this initiative, the private sector is sending a very clear and strong signal that it wiling and ready to contribute to transforming Africa. With this potential for rapid growth, I would also like to challenge the African private sector to aim at ensuring that their companies qualify to be in the Fortune 500 by 2030; with such an achievement, you will not just be regarded as the Afro-champions but global multinational corporations as well,” Amb Muchanga.
He therefore challenged members of the AfroChampions Initiative to ‘invest and produce to the scale’ of the AFCTA market so as to exploit the large economies of scale and scope the CFTA has created, to grow their businesses adding that advocacy was on-going to ensure that, by the start of trading on 1st July, 2020, all the fifty-five African Union Member States had become State Parties to the CFTA. He stated that the CFTA’s supporting instruments such as rules of origin; schedules of tariff concessions on trade in goods; Pan African Payments and Settlement System as well as the African Trade Observatory, amongst others, would also be ready by 1st July, 2020.
“Fifty-four Member States have so far signed the Agreement, leaving us with one yet to do so. We have firm assurances that this will be done soon. Ratifications are also progressing very well. Mauritius notified us on 7th October, 2019 on her ratification of the Agreement, bringing the total number of ratifications to-date to twenty-eight. Several other countries are at varying stages of processing the ratifications. So far, twenty-two ratifications are yet to be deposited,” he said
Amb Muchanga said the Interim Secretariat of the CFTA was convening an extra-ordinary meeting of Directors-General of Customs to enable them familiarize themselves with the trade documents of the CFTA as well as jointly assess their state of readiness to administer the market, effective 1st July, 2020. Also, he described the Trillion Dollar Investment Framework for Africa as a major undertaking adding that, alongside the supporting documents, it would be submitted to the policy organs of the African Union for appropriate policy guidance.
“Strategically, the Draft Trillion Dollar Investment Framework for Africa matches our ambitions contained in the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area. In this respect, it embodies our strong determination to fully implement the Agreement and ensure that the Agreement delivers on the promises of increasing intra-African trade; connecting Africa; promoting accelerated structural transformation across Africa; generating decent jobs and livelihoods across Africa; and, inter-alia, defragmenting Africa,” he said
The Boma on Sustainable Green Growth and Industrialization seeks to mobilize key actors already addressing the challenge in key sectors to brainstorm on practical ways of building smarter partnerships to accelerate and scale-up high-impact action that create value across food, shelter, clothing, smart infrastructure and green value chains.
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