Investment Promotion Agencies need to collaborate to promote intra-African trade – Deputy Trade and Industry Minister
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa, has called for institutional collaboration among the Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in Africa to help promote intra-African trade and attract more investments.
Mr Krapa made the call in Accra on Wednesday at the maiden Annual Assembly of the IPAs organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the African Investment Promotion Agencies.
On the theme “The Role of the IPAS in facilitating intra-African Trade”, it was attended by investment promotion agencies from Angola, Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, Liberia, Zimbabwe, DR Congo and South Africa.
The rest are Nigeria, Gambia, United Arab Emirates, Gabon, Botswana, Somalia and Mauritius.
Other international organisations taking part in the programme are African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, African Development Bank, International Organisation for Migration and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation.
Opening the programme, Mr Krapa stressed the need for IPAs to work with government institutions in Africa to harmonise trade rules and regulations.
“We have to pay attention to how to standardise regulations and rules to attract trade and investments to the region,” he said.
The Deputy Minister of Trade also emphasised the need for member countries to focus on infrastructure development to facilitate trade in the African region in order to harness the potentials of the AfCFTA.
The Chief Executive Officer of GIPC, Mr Yofi Grant, in his remarks, said the programme was to discuss measures to promote trade and investment in Africa.
“Without investment, we cannot develop, build together, add value to numerous resources in Africa and trade among ourselves,” he said.
Mr Grant said though Africa was rich with resources and having about 50 per cent of the global gold reserves, it citizens were poor.
That, he said, was because Africa continued to export its natural resources in their raw form without turning them into finished products.
“African countries must position themselves to take advantage of AfCFTA with a market of 1.4 billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product of $3.4 trillion,” Mr Grant said.
The Secretary-General of AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Menein, in a speech read on his behalf, said the programme was in line with the agenda of AfCFTA Secretariat to promote trade and investment in Africa.
The Executive Director of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, Mr Ismail Ersahin, stressed that foreign direct investment was a powerful tool to create jobs, transfer skills and to lead to prosperity.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE