Participants at the Policy Dialogue of African Business Associations on Implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on Thursday called for the establishment of an African Business Council.
The Policy Dialogue was co-organised by the African Union (AU), African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA).
The African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) and The AfroChampions Initiative were also co-organisers of the dialogue which ended on Wednesday in Addis Ababa.
In a statement signed by the Executive Director of CoDA, Mrs. Souad Aden Osman on Thursday, the participants agreed to collaborate and work in a collective and inclusive manner toward the establishment of the African Business Council.
The participants at the forum included Prof. Pat Utomi of Pan-African University’s Business School, and Director General of Nigerian Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Amb. Ayo Olukanni.
Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari (Economy), Mr. Yemi Dipeolu, and Director General of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadiri, amongst other Nigerians, participated at the dialogue.
Others were members of the CoDA Board of Directors, which has former Nigeria’s President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as Chair.
The participants felt that the public sector’s capacity to negotiate, regulate and implement AfCFTA provisions required strengthening and agreed that the African private sector should organise itself to support member states in this regard.
They, however, called for the speedy establishment of national AfCFTA Committees, saying they would be vital for its implementation