Deputy Executive Director of AfCFTA Policy Network, Emmanuel Bensah, has disclosed that the Africa private sector summit scheduled from 19th to 22nd October, 2021, will see to the deliberation on action-oriented outcomes for AfCFTA.
Highlighting on the significance of the summit, he noted that it will also focus on the activities of the single trading market and what it has been able to achieve since its commencement.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Bensah explained that the private sector plays an integral role in a country. As such, he confirmed the need for them to be empowered, especially with the impact of the pandemic on the sector.
“The private sector and AfCFTA, [is] a conversation that has been over flogged for some of us because most of the time it’s about meetings… The difference with the Africa Private sector Summit is that… we want action-oriented results in the context of the conversation around AfCFTA; which means that we want to see specific things that have been achieved. One of them is to ensure that the private sector is empowered.
“All over the world, we know the private sector has been experiencing challenges and COVID-19 has not helped at all. Now is the time, with what we are seeing… what we need to do is to make sure that the private sector really gets the necessary boost to make sure that it is also contributing to taking advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area”.Mr Emmanuel Bensah
Draft bill of rights for private sector
Touching on the draft bill of rights which is currently with the United Nation’s Commission for Africa, Mr Bensah intimated that it was the major output of their maiden event held in March this year. Following this, he revealed that the purpose of the bill is to help regulate how the private sector operates.
Furthermore, Mr Bensah underscored the need for academia to collaborate with the private sector to deliberate on finding ways to enable the youth appreciate relevant values.
“We managed to get the European Union and the ECA to find money to put up a bill of rights. So, the draft bill of rights for private sector is supposed to be applicable for all 55 member states of the AU.
“But the other interesting and important conversation [for] APSS is private sector working with academia. Because at the end of the day, private sector was built by the academia. Academics have been shunned for too long… AfCFTA is an opportunity for us to do things differently. So, we need to empower the private sector, we need to empower the academia as well”.Mr Emmanuel Bensah
Among the outcomes of the second series scheduled for October is the opening of trust fund. Touching on the matter, Mr Bensah intimated that the purpose of the fund is to ensure of collection contributions from Chambers of commerce in Africa.
“… And part of that money will be used to empower academia across the continent to help restructure their curricula as well and ensure that they do the needful to make sure that the AfCFTA becomes a meaningful thing and not just another project by the AU”.Mr Emmanuel Bensah
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