Stakeholders from across the public and private sectors pledged to strengthen collaboration with Governments to address infrastructure deficit, ineffective trade facilitation processes, and invest in innovation and technology to promote trade across borders in Africa, to accelerate sustainable development.
This commitment was made at the maiden Africa Sustainable Supply Chain Summit hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Ghana, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Africa Investment Group in Accra on 29-30 March 2023.
“Growing competitive African businesses for the One Africa market requires better supply chain governance and more investment by multiple actors including diaspora investors. It requires collaborative approaches to attract innovative and new forms of financing for MSMEs”, said Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana.
Ms. Lusigi called for new partnerships to ensure that supply chains are sustainable and work to facilitate made in Africa, supplied by Africa, and moved by Africa.
The summit drew on key information on Africa’s trade infrastructure deficit which is estimated between 68-108 billion dollars per year. Against this backdrop, the Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, while speaking at the Summit noted that, “there must be more investment in adequate infrastructure and infrastructure that supports trade to address Africa’s needs to double intra-Africa trade by 2025”.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Michael Okyere Baafi pledged Government of Ghana’s commitment to facilitating trade across borders.
“We will work closely with the ICC, UNDP, AfCFTA, and other stakeholders to address the challenges faced by the industry and implement innovative solutions that drive economic growth in Ghana and in the region”.
The Chairman of ICC Ghana, Dr. Samuel Ankrah highlighted the importance of the summit noting that it has provided a unique opportunity for leaders in supply chain and operations to collaborate on sustainable practices.
“We are committed to provide this platform on an annual basis and supporting the development of a coordinated approach to address the challenges faced by the industry”, Mr. Ankrah noted.
The Supply Chain Summit provided the stakeholders the opportunity to discuss various topics including leveraging technology and innovation in promoting intra-Africa trade. Other topics discussed include managing supply chain risks within the AfCFTA, unlocking AfCFTA benefits for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and boosting intra-African trade by enhancing African connectivity.
Looking ahead, the ICC Africa Sustainable Supply Chain Summit will continue to serve as an important platform for leaders and experts to collaborate and drive meaningful progress towards a more sustainable and responsible future for supply chain management in Africa.