Africa must be aggressive, innovative and increase intra-African trade

The CEO of the African Global Chamber of Commerce Olivier Kamanzi, has said Africa needs to rise up to the challenges of the 21st century by being more innovative, aggressive and entrepreneurial.

“Everything is here in Africa so all we need to do is to rejuvenate, be more aggressive, and become innovative. Thus, I see the aviation industry as key especially when we want to break barriers in terms of trade and investment. I also want to see African investors investing in African businesses.

The likes of me and other Africans must invest in African business rather than expecting more of the people from developed countries investing in African businesses. We want to see Africans being tourists in other African countries than expecting foreigners outside Africa to be the only tourists.”

Speaking to Dr Etse Sikanku on Class fm’s “World Affairs”, Mr. Kamanzi said, one way of pursing a new development agenda for Africa is by focusing on its youth.

“What has to be done is empowering the youth because across all nations in Africa, a large percentage of the population are young. Africa is ready to move to the next level and I think what we need to do is to break barriers,” he added.

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Mr. Kamanzi’s organization, The African Global Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) seeks to link Africa to the diaspora market especially in the United States of America by providing opportunities for networking and collaboration between both countries.

The AGCC is organizing a high level African Youth and Entrepreneurship Summit from July 12-13 in Chicago to achieve such aspirations.  The summit will see young leaders from across the globe meet to deliberate on various developmental issues such as agriculture, technology and business innovation.

With the theme, “Empowering Youth, Promoting Investment in Technology, Agribusiness, and Tourism” and “The Future of US and African Economic Sustainable Development”, they hope to attract some fairly youthful investors to the continent.

Mr. Olivier Kamanzi believes Africans should be able to trade amongst themselves effectively.

“We should be able to trade among ourselves where one is able to move his or her product from Accra to Cotonou, Accra to Lome or to South Africa. It is surprising that Africans don’t seem to know each other very well. There are people in Ghana who do not know how Zambians behave, how South Africans are but we are all living in the same continent so one thing is to allow the free movement of people. For instance the AU passport for all Africans is a good initiative as well as the one currency agenda where Africans do not have to exchange money to do business; Africa needs to make life easy for its people.” he said.

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He added that increased trade in Africa will be enhanced by easy movement of people particular by air.

“I have been talking about how Africans should be able to move freely, effective education of Africans, trading among Africans among others. I think one way for Africans to migrate easily and trade among one another is via the plane. Someone from Africa on the plane to another African country should not transit in France before coming back to his or her final destination. We need to be able connect and to do this, aviation is key”.

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