The Head of Client Coverage at Stanbic Investment Management Services (SIMS), Desmond Bredu, has underscored the importance of financial literacy – particularly for the youth – in realising full benefits of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Speaking at the ‘Women Lead Forum’ in Accra on the topic ‘Implementing the AfCFTA, Africa’s youth as catalysts for action and its success’, Desmond Bredu said financial literacy is crucial to ensure that the Ghanaian youth are empowered to drive the growth of AfCFTA.
He mentioned that: “There is a lot of potential in our youth to do great things. They have the potential to push the AfCFTA programme and create the development in Africa that we all want to see. Unfortunately, all these initiatives and projects will be meaningless to them if they do not have the requisite knowledge and skill needed to sustain and benefit from these programmes. Therefore, it is imperative we provide them with financial literacy that will help them make sense of this project and drive them to develop new and innovative ways to even make it better.
“At SIMS, we are very passionate about driving growth in Ghana and across Africa. That is why we have been embarking on a series of campaigns targetted at the youth to equip them with financial knowledge. This year, we plan on engaging even more people to ensure that irrespective of your background, every young person in Ghana will have access to financial education and skills, and be empowered to actively contribute toward success of the AfCFTA,” he added.
Mr. Bredu also explained that the private sector needs proper incentivisation in order to work with the public sector to drive AfCFTA forward. He said: “In order for the private sector to be involved in AfCFTA, there has to be incentives that make doing business easier. When a private organisation wants to take advantage of AfCFTA to support a rural area, one thing that they consider is if the tax regimes there are conducive for them to do business. This is something that must really be taken into consideration in order to get the private sector on board. They need to be properly incentivised. There must be a collaborative effort between the public and private sector in order to make AfCFTA work effectively and efficiently to drive the growth of Ghana”.
The ‘Women Lead Forum’ under the theme ‘Step It Up for AfCFTA’ was organised by the Southern Africa Embrace Foundation and supported by the AfCFTA secretariat. The two-day event gathered delegates from the diaspora and Africa to share, learn, collaborate, network and exchange ideas on how we can achieve economic sustainability for women and youths in Africa through the AfCFTA.