All is set for the General Assembly (GA) meeting of the World Trade Centres Association (WTC) 53rd edition in Accra, the first time it will be held in West Africa since its inception.
The summit, set to take place from the 24th – 28th of April 2023, is under the theme ‘Toward African economic integration and enhanced global presence’. It will serve as a huge platform to discuss ways for African countries to maximise gains from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Annual General Assembly of WTC is the biggest event on the organisation’s calendar, and will bring together over 400 representatives and business delegations from all the 100 WTCs worldwide.
A delegation from 14 African countries – including four from sub-Saharan Africa and 80 from other continents – will be present to highlight Africa’s unique trade opportunities, touted as the world’s next economic frontier.
Also described as the Pan-African WTCA’s GA, the summit will focus on Africa as a strategic economic market, contributing much-needed critical infrastructure of interconnected business networks.
Speaking at a pre-event press briefing, Executive Director of WTC Accra, Edem Kofi Yevutsey, mentioned that Accra will witness a global business network consisting of leaders from business, government, academia, media and international organisations, reflecting the WTCA’s diverse global footprint and which will open vast opportunities for local businesses.
“This GA and the opportunities it creates for businesses to network and connect will highlight the unique trade and investment potential presented by Africa as the world’s next economic frontier, especially in light of the new AfCFTA. We look forward to welcoming delegates worldwide to our vibrant country to take advantage of growth opportunities across the continent,” he said.
On her part, Adel Afele-Gavu – WTC Accra member, indicated that this year the GA will include engaging roundtables and conversations, including keynote remarks from the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; and special remarks from Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) secretariat on Monday, April 24.
The African continent represents a gross domestic product of US$12.7trillion, and its 1.4 billion people represent the fastest-growing population on the planet. It is also among the youngest, with 15.7 being the median age; and its young population is poised to make its mark economically and geopolitically.
Key sectors such as agriculture; agro-tech, food processing; manufacturing; mining; power and energy, among others, are expected to benefit from the summit.
Mr. Yevutsey is therefore urging businesses in Africa, especially those in the private sector, to participate fully in the assembly and take advantage of opportunities associated with the event. He mentioned that currently about 30 Ghanaian businesses have registered to participate, but Namibia and Nigeria have recorded the majority of registrants from the continent so far.