The Executive Chairman of the Africa Prosperity Network (APN) and Senior Partner of the Africa Legal Associates (ALA), Gabby Otchere-Darko, says that the economic integration of Africa is the surest way to guarantee the continent’s peace, security and prosperity for its peoples.
He said this during the maiden edition of the Global Africa Forum (GAF) jointly organised by APN and the Africa-America Institute (AAI), a side event at the ongoing 78th UN General Assembly in New York City. It was under the theme “Mobilising Global Africa Investment to Boost Intra-African Trade.”
He stressed that the best way to achieve this integration is to have a mindset of Africa without borders, adding that the concept of global Africa will be much more meaningful and find expression if the continent gets rid of the borders that are dividing her currently.
He told the gathering that non-African investors have invested in Africa and their investments have become profitable, adding the “global African” must see the need to also invest in the continent with profitability as a target.
“Back in January 2021, we (Africa) gave birth to the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which potentially means that we are creating the single largest economy in the world by virtue of the AfCFTA. If that is going to happen, then every man and woman of African descent should see the role that they can play in that,” he said.
He pointed to the Chinese, who have embraced this vision and are making substantial investments in Ghana and other regions of the African continent, recognizing that in the not-so-distant future, Africans will no longer need to travel to China to buy their goods.
According to Mr Otchere-Darko, America is doing very little in this regard in Africa. He, however, noted that it is time for the Africa American, the global African, to wake up to the reality and believe in the continent as a viable place to invest their capital.
As part of activities during the ceremony, the APN launched the second edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD) which will take place in Ghana from Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 January 2024, under the theme: “Delivering Prosperity in Africa by Producing what we Trade”.
“The resources are there; it is for us to marshal them in the active service of our people. Unless we do this by our concerted effort, within the framework of our combined planning, we shall not progress at the tempo demanded by today’s events and the mode of our people,” he said.
“The symptoms of our troubles will grow and the troubles themselves, become chronic. It will then be too late for pan-African unity to secure for our stability and tranquility with our neighbours for a continent of social justice and material well-being” Mr Otchere-Darko added.
In his contribution, the President and Chief Executive Officer of AAI, Kofi Appenteng, observed that governments on the African continent need to ease the challenges that exist with getting visas to be able to travel to the African continent on short notice. According to the AAI president, “if you (Africa) want to create an enabling environment for investments, people need to be able to travel easily”.
“This is something that is within the power of African countries to do something about and it is in line with the African Continental Free Trade Area. We are not going to have the opportunity to create this market if travel continues to be difficult,” Mr Appenteng said.