Professor Kingsley Moghalu, Chairman, Board of Directors and Advisory Board Africa Private Sector Summit (APSS), has emphasized the need for Africa’s private sector to be strengthened to expand intra-African trade and create prosperity, leveraging the provisions of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Moghalu delivered the verdict at the AfCFTA Joint Private Sector Session 2023 Afreximbank Intra-African Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt.
The AfCFTA, when fully implemented, he said, is expected to “boost intra-African trade by 52 per cent, lift 30 million people out of poverty, and increase the continent’s GDP by $450 billion by 2035”.
He emphasized that “the envisaged quantum leap from the impact of AfCFTA is not misplaced as Africa trades far less within itself than other continents”.
Moghalu highlighted that “while governments have signed and ratified the AfCFTA, it is companies and business enterprises that trade across Africa, far more than governments”.
“This means that the African private sector must be strengthened to leverage the provisions and protocols of the AfCFTA to expand intra-African trade to create prosperity, ” he said.
The former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)emphasizes the need for effective governments, governance, and public policy to unlock Africa’s prosperity, stating that a competent state is crucial for success.
The second is to establish a solid foundation for Africa’s national economies to facilitate the progressive implementation of the AfCFTA and other regional economic agreements, Moghalu opined.
He revealed that the APSS is collaborating with African governments and other parties to adopt a Charter on the Private Sector Bill of Rights for an Enabling Business Environment.
The Private Sector Bill of Rights grants 24 rights, including easy business establishment, a legal framework, infrastructure, peace, security, and consultative relationships between governments and businesses in regulations.
Moghalu assured the adoption of the Private Sector Bill of Rights is expected to expedite the implementation of the key Framework Protocols of the AfCFTA.
The aim is for the Charter on the Private Sector Bill of Rights to be adopted by 22 African countries, preferably all African Union members, and then adopted at the African Union Summit.
“We will seek adoption by national parliaments and/or the Executive branches of government. We are walking a similar path as that which led to the successful adoption of the AfCFTA. The specific rights identified in the Private Sector Bill of Rights come from the protocols of the RECs and AfCFTA,” he said.
The Private Sector Bill of Rights, when adopted by African countries, along with the RECs and AfCFTA, aims to tackle a long-standing issue in post-colonial Africa.