African business giants, industry players in the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), policy makers and investors will converge in Accra, from October 19 to 22 this year, for the second Africa Private Sector Summit (APSS).
Under the auspices of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the European Union (EU), the summit, is expected to set the tone for African businesses to actualise innovations and ideas to turn round the fortunes of the continent.
It will among others discuss opportunities industry players could leverage with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), to improve trade, grow businesses and create jobs on the continent.
It is on the theme: “Awakening Africa’s sleeping giants in implementation of Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – Leveraging Strategic Opportunities for Africa’s Turnaround.”
Secretary General of the APSS, Nelson Godfred Agyeman presenting an overview of the Summit to journalists in Accra yesterday said, the high level meeting presented a unique opportunity to move away from “talk shops” into action plans that address challenges facing the continent.
He said, drawing on conclusions from the maiden APSS, the meeting would seek to draw a roadmap towards implementing a “Bill of Rights” for an enabling business environment in line with treaties and protocols under the AfCFTA.
“The Bill of Rights in doing business in Africa will help clear impediments that stand in the way of private sector including insecurity, possibility of wars, peace, rule of law and good governance which is the bedrock for businesses to thrive on the continent and we hope this bill will create that enabling environment,” he said.
The need to bridge the gap between academia and industry, Mr Agyemang said, would be another topical issue that will be focused on during the summit to ensure that research outcomes are utilised to promote intra-Africa trade.
“For instance from this summit, we looking to have stakeholders come up with an action plan to establish an African educational trust fund to enhance research and that other issues which have to do with ease of access to finance such that risk of long term loans will be eased out.
We want to ensure that at the end of the day, we all go back to our sectors and sub-sectors focusing on implementation of action plans which can be reported on and progress tracked in subsequent summits,” he said.
President of GNCCI, Mr Clement Osei, said “as a Chamber, it is our considered view that promoting and protecting trade andinvestment is critical in driving a country’s development agenda within anatmosphere of cooperation and partnership.”
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH