Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says Africa is poised to become global powerhouse in its transformational agenda.
He said the time has come for Africa and Africans to define their own narrative and take appropriate measures that will help develop the continent.
“We cannot allow poverty and underdevelopment to be the destiny of Africa, a continent so blessed with every natural resource imaginable – oil, gas, minerals, and sunshine.
“We have approximately 65% of all available arable land available to feed 9 billion people globally by 2050 and we are home to the most youthful population in the world. We have everything we need to transform Africa into a global powerhouse of the future”, the stated.
Vice President Bawumia stated when he addressed the maiden Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APDs) summit held in the Adukrom, in the Eastern Region of Ghana as the Special Guest of Honour.
According to him, the event was organised as a solution-driven initiative to fast-track the implementation of the AfCFTA.
“This is the time for businesses to dialogue on SMART ways to enjoy the opportunities from the Agreement for a resilient, sustainable, inclusive and prosperous Africa”, he urged.
3 key proposals
Vice President Bawumia seized the opportunity to propose three broad areas that African countries should prioritise to transform their economies.
“First is the need for smart investments in critical infrastructure. As a continent, we need to produce and trade our way out of poverty and underdevelopment, and we cannot do that without investing in smart infrastructure across the continent. While the last decades have seen some positive investments, there is the need for additional resources to finance the ‘arteries for trade’, which include the physical infrastructure such as roads, rail, and energy; digital infrastructure such as data centres to facilitate the digital transformation and financial infrastructure to allow for integration financial markets. These investments will be critical to delivering the success of the AfCFTA.
“Second is to unleash the productive capacities across the continent. We must create platforms for knowledge brokerage and access to information on critical products and services on the continent to allow 445 million small businesses across the continent to plug into the value chains of these mega industries. We need to develop Africa into a manufacturing zone that will facilitate the trade of value-added products. These, in my view, will be critical to leapfrog Africa’s industrialisation and the enormous socio-economic benefits.
“Finally, is mobilising finance and investments. Africa needs between US$ 130 billion and US$ 170 billion annually to bridge its infrastructure gap and generate sustainable growth at 5% per annum or more. This presents immense opportunities for the private sector investment. Attracting private sector participation through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) is therefore, essential for the delivery of various infrastructure projects. Furthermore, there is a need for innovative policies to mobilise and allocate resources more effectively, and for better coordination amongst all African stakeholders and international partners.
“We are indeed on the cusp of the realisation of the Africa we want. As key stakeholders, we must consolidate the successes so far and, with a sense of urgency, develop the signature solutions needed to deepen intra-African trade and spur impactful investments needed to bring prosperity to the continent and its people. And we must do this with fearless determination”, Vice President Bawumia stated.
For his part, the Executive Director of APN Dr. Eugene Owusu indicated that the Africa prosperity dialogue series have been established as a convenient platform for African political and business leaders to set initiatives that will transform Africa with overarching objective of achieving prosperity across the continent.
Dr. Owusu who doubles as the convener of the APDs summit added that the summit will enhance economic cooperation, deeper trade and integration and accelerating impact investments.
According to him, the Africa and prosperity dialogue is taking place against the backdrop of immense challenges that come from the continent, but also exciting opportunities that our continent has to transform itself.
“In fact, recent developments are testing testimony and testaments that Africa can reverse is development misfortunes.
“We can only do so through bold, innovative and Smart Actions to spare in traffic country and to accelerate cross border impact investments across the continent”, he reiterated.