Series 2 of the Africa Private Sector Summit (APSS) is set to hold between 19th and 22nd of October in Accra, Ghana, under the theme: “Awakening Africa’s Sleeping Giants in the Implementation of Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and Leveraging Strategic Opportunities for Africa’s Turnaround.”
By Stephen Enoch
With the strategic dream of accelerating intra-African trade and a vision of repositioning the continent in the global market, the AfCFTA is set to unite Africa’s 1.2 billion people into a single market of a combined GDP of US$2.5 trillion, expected to reach US$29 trillion by 2050. The World Bank says the AfCFTA has the potential to lift about 100 million Africans out of poverty and an additional 30 million more out of extreme poverty by 2035, if effectively implemented.
Against this backdrop, APSS seeks to foster strategic alliances among private sector actors, namely academia, labor, civil society, and consumers, on the one hand; and between private sector and the public sector, on the other hand. This is to facilitate the free flow of business and trade activities in the AfCFTA regime. The maiden edition of APSS (Series 1) themed: “Doing Business under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area” was held virtually from March 8 to 12, 2021.
Accordingly, APSS Series 2 seeks to build on the successes of APSS Series 1 and would be focused on building strategic alliances among stakeholders in the private sector, academia, labor, civil society and the public sector. Key outcomes of Series 1 include the signing of an MOU between the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) and the Association of African Universities (AAU) on fostering relations between private sector and the academia as well as the drafting of a Bill of Rights for an Enabling Business Environment in Africa towards enhanced implementation of the AfCFTA.
Subsequently, Series 2 seeks to drive commitment to specific strategic projects and the associated funding opportunities to see the projects off the ground; assign specific roles for all stakeholders (private sector, academia, labor, civil society, and consumers); benchmark successes within specific timeframes to ensure completion of tasks and afterwards, set up the groundwork for implementation of actions towards Series 3. APSS Series 3 will take place in Kigali, Rwanda by first quarter of 2022 and would essentially be a review summit to evaluate the implementation of Series 2 action plans.
While addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Nelson Agyemang, coordinating secretary of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for APSS Series 2, said the forthcoming event would be a solutions-driven conference focused on interventions and strategies for addressing challenges previously identified in Series 1. In addition, Agyemang said APSS Series 2 would identify enablers for enhancing the private sector’s role in AfCFTA’s implementation, based on the symbiotic notion of interrelatedness and collaborative efforts.
“We want to identify key actions that would populate an ‘end of summit’ action plan, alongside projects that would be implemented afterwards. We have identified stakeholders who would be involved in developing solutions-oriented action plans aimed at addressing identified gaps and ensuring the resolutions agreed at the summit are implemented,” Mr Agyemang said.
His Excellency Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi and current chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) would deliver the keynote address at APSS Series 2, which would be followed by a high-level panel session themed: ‘The Big Conversation- Awakening the Sleeping Giants of Africa in RECs and AfCFTA.’ The panel will be moderated by Mr Mo Ibrahim and feature panelists such as H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Mr Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group; as well as Dr Amany Asfour, Interim Chair of the African Business Council (AfBC).
By Carême Kouamé Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 29th November 2021 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/-…