Entrepreneurship And Regional Integration Transforming Africa’s Economic Landscape: Experts

Entrepreneurship and regional integration transforming Africa’s economic landscape: Experts

DUBAI, (Pakistan Point News - 19th Nov, 2019) Sessions on the second day of the Global Business Forum Africa 2019 in Dubai put the spotlight on the potential impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, on trade and investment in Africa, and the important role of entrepreneurs in driving the growth and development of the continent.

During a one-on-one session, Fadi Ghandour, Executive Chairman, Wamda, spoke to Peter Njonjo, Co-Founder and CEO of Kenya-based Twiga Foods. Sharing his entrepreneurial journey and success story, Njonjo revealed how he identified a market need to improve agribusiness value chains as consumers in the country were overspending on food, while farmers found themselves dealing with too many retailers. His B2B platform, connecting farmers directly with retailers, found a way to lower costs and enhance food quality.

Following the conversation, a session titled "Creating One Africa – Eliminating Barriers to Business" saw industry experts assess the impact of the AfCFTA on trade, investment and the ease of doing business in Africa.

Commenting on the AfCFTA and Africa’s shift towards regional integration, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Switzerland, said, "We are starting to see African countries do away with visas. Previously, Africans did not facilitate Africans travelling, but this unlocks service potential. Now, 21 countries have e-visas and visas on arrival, such as the UAE. The rest of the world is building walls; Africa is building bridges."

Stephen Karingi, Director, Regional Integration and Trade Division, UN Economic Commission for Africa, Ethiopia, said that the Rwandan President has driven the reform committee of the African Union during his tenure as chair of the organisation. When taking over as chair of the African Union in January, South African President, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, should drive the services agenda, as this area offers a lot of potential for African economies, Karingi explained.

Admassu Tadesse, President and CEO, Trade and Development Bank, said that for Africa, the last decade has been unprecedented in terms of growth. He explained that the continent is seeing more cross-border investment than ever before.

Lastly, Nadya Abdulla Kamali, CEO, Dubai Customs World, said Africa can play an important role in Dubai’s Silk Road Strategy and benefit from the changing dynamics in global trade.

Organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, GBF Africa 2019 was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.