Single currency depends on a stable African economy - Stakeholders speak at 7th GITFiC

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Tue, 30 May 2023 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Participants and speakers at the just-ended 7th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) have stressed the need for an African single trade currency.

According to the stakeholders, a common currency will not only boost trade and industrialisation in Africa but also promote regional solidarity and cooperation between the nations.

The above, they said, can be achieved only when the right mechanisms such as a strong and growing political will, robust policies, industrialization, among others, are put in place to achieve market integration in Africa.

Dr Dossina Yeo, former acting Director of Economic Development Trade and Integration at the African Union (AU) in an interview with GhanaWeb Business bemoaned the challenges delaying the implementation.

He urged political leaders to fulfill their pledges of constructing workable plans to significantly advance the establishment of a common monetary system across African nations, during previous AU and AfCFTA summits.

“We talked about the different development rates in Africa with some countries facing high inflation rates and issues of debt. We know this thing will not stop. [But] we need to stop, mitigate the risk to transform the African economy and many steps have been taken like the industialisation plan and the discussion that was held last year in AU summit and AfCFTA summits in Niger.

Leaders came out with key recommendation that will make Africa develop to conform itself so we wouldn’t continue to export our raw materials, to transform our raw materials to a stage where we can trade among ourselves and reduce some of the risks we are seeing now and start converging towards the creation of the African common currency.”

In a welcome address, the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, lauded the GITFiC initiative describing it as an important platform for cross-fertilization of ideas, insights, and innovations that could shape the future of international trade and investment and finance, especially in Africa.

He urged participants from across 10 African nations to take advantage of the confab to collaborate and engage in joint partnerships and explore opportunities that transcend our borders and propel our economies forward.

"In an increasingly interconnected world, the significance of international trade and finance cannot be overemphasized. It fuels growth, drives investment and opens door to prosperity for nations, enterprises and individuals alike."

"Africa’s strong growing political will and commitments of Heads of State to achieve market integration in Africa demonstrates its commitment towards the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). As policy makers and experts, we ought to continue to proffer solutions that will improve the business and investment climate with a view to creating an enabling environment for the private sector to contribute to the development of inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa through industrialization, trade and the creation of employment opportunities." He added.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Thomas Mbomba, stated that Ghana, a strong supporter of the single currency idea, is committed to implementing a single currency to benefit the economy and African continent.

He also assured that the government would continue to invest in the facilities required to sustain trade on the continent.

Mbomba added that the government's "one district, one factory" initiative may open the door to widespread industrialisation, which would result in the production of jobs and services for the continent.

"The road ahead may not be without challenges, but our collective determination and commitment will pave the way for a prosperous Africa," he said.

The GITFIC is an annual conference that brings together business executives, policy makers and subject matter experts from all over the world to articulate ways of enhancing inter Africa trade, regional integration, trade liberalization, trade policies and practices of the African continent and notably to turn talks into actions. The 7th edition was held under the theme 'Senchi Consensus on Africa's single currency'.

Topics discussed included Prospects on Africa’s single currency, Actualising Africa’s industrialization agenda in the era of AfCFTA: The role of Africa’s Small and Medium scale enterprises – The ECOWAS perspective, sovereign economic vulnerabilities.

The Chief Executive Officer of GITFiC, Selasi Koffi Ackom, described the conference as a phenomenal one following the various conversations from the panelists.

He stressed that the call for a single currency is inevitable stating that it would happen at some point, despite the many setbacks.

In his words, "We believe from where we stand as an institution that the political will is almost zero. Until we get the political will, we will still depend on the greenback. The greenback [dollar] will still determine our economy. Political independence was a vision, a dream, it has come to pass. Economic independence is equally a vision and it will come to pass. And forums such as ours would help push the advocacy to get this done."


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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