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Economic model must transition to production for recovery – John Kumah

Wed, 27 Oct 2021 Source: thebftonline.com

For the country to see a speedy recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, it is important for the economy to transition into a new model that focuses on production rather than the traditional approach which has dwelt on importation and export of raw materials, Deputy Minister of Finance, John Kumah has said.

For him, the market created by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement should be a wake-up call for economic actors to channel their energies and resources into production; especially when the pandemic and its associated lockdowns and restrictions on movement have pushed advanced economies to shut their borders – thereby leaving the African continent to find its own way to survival.

“Our COVID-era recovery should be anchored on increased economic integration and unlocking our productive capacity to meet local demand across strategic sectors. In this regard, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) is a game-changer for all of us."

“I genuinely believe the time has come for us to move toward an economic model that serves to benefit our society and not only others. To transition toward being a resilient continent, it is clear that we have to exploit our productive capabilities collectively."

“The African Continental Free Trade Area thus marks a historic decision on the road to regional economic integration on the continent. Essentially, the AfCFTA has the potential to stimulate intra-African trade in agriculture, manufacturing and value-added products which employ more labour and can contribute positively to increasing employment opportunities for young people,” he said speaking at the Africa Globalised Investment Forum held in Accra.

Mr. Kumah further emphasised the need to learn from the developed world how countries have been able to integrate and establish well-functioning markets through provision of the needed infrastructure and workable financing models, in oerder to help businesses have a smooth process through the intra-Africa trade journey.

“Building an industrial-driven economy is a complex process, requiring infrastructural foundations overlaid with pragmatic pro-business policies which reflect a spirit of free trade. Accordingly, we must leverage the experiences of our Western peers in shaping the delivery of our mega-regional trade deals."

“Additionally, new financing models are also required for the rapid recovery of enterprise and value chains within this context. We must move beyond typical debt finance and encourage more equity participation from institutional investors. Greater equity participation will be the catalyst for effective knowledge-transfer and sustainable partnerships on the continent,” he said.

The Africa Globalised Investment Summit

Explaining the rationale for the summit, Executive Director of the African Policy Network, Louis Yaw Afful, said it is a clarion call to all African leaders, technocrats, the private sector and entire citizenry to collaborate in all development issues for our transformational socio-economic growth in the current world pandemic.

“We should know that our own lives lie in our hands and efforts. We can achieve our goals when we trust each other and are ready to trade among ourselves. It is my fervent hope that the Africa Globalised investment Summit becomes an annual rotational event from one member-country to another."

“The summit is focused on bringing together various investors, innovators, project financiers, joint venture search and partnership, women in business, exhibitions of products and services from the participating countries, and investment opportunities under AFCFTA among others,” he said.

Source: thebftonline.com
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