Africa investor (Ai) confirmed today it convened an historic Summit with the heads of global trade organizations, to discuss partnerships and the impact of COVID-19 on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Summit was Chaired by Hubert Danso, CEO & Chairman, Africa investor (Ai), Chairman, African Union Continental Business Network (CBN) and included Wamkele Mene, Secretary General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, John Denton, Secretary General, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, World Customs Organization (WCO), Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Vinco David, Secretary General, Berne Union and Hennie Heymans, CEO, DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa.
The Summit was convened as leaders’ recognized innovative partnerships and collaboration with the private sector and international organizations, will be critical to restoring trade confidence and flows in the fight against COVID-19 and in building trade resilience in anticipation of future pandemics.
The importance of accelerating the adoption of African eTrade, Paperless Customs and RegTech innovation featured high on the leaders’ agenda.
Leaders highlighted the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for harmonized regulation to support the African private sector, especially SME’s, digitize their businesses, to be able to trade and compete in the ‘Post COVID-19 Contactless Economy’, where ‘Trade and Customs Distancing’ will be the new normal. The African private sectors’ AfricaPLC Industrial eTrade Platform initiative, supported by: Ai, DHL, ICC, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), Standard Bank, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) Continental Business Network (CBN), ABSA and Trade Development Bank, was welcomed as a critical African eTrade and Finance enabler.
The leaders renewed their commitment to collaborate on an array of strategic trade initiatives to combat COVID-19 and build trade resilience in Africa, in support of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).