The Business Imperative for Regional Integration
Many African countries are committed to eliminating barriers to the movement of goods and labor across the continent, including many small and landlocked economies, to help create larger markets. The development of regional integration-focused policies, one-stop border posts, regional infrastructure projects and trade-enhancing technologies have eased cross border trade and ultimately reduced the cost of doing business on the continent.
A major achievement to note is the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in early 2017; CFTA brings together 54 African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion. Initial CFTA discussions began in 2012 at the African Union Summit and included an Action Plan on Boosting Intra-Africa Trade (BIAT) which identified seven clusters: trade policy, trade facilitation, productive capacity, trade related infrastructure, trade finance, trade information, and factor market integration.
This Closing Plenary will provide an overview of the recent milestones and successes in regional integration, and discuss why integration efforts are critical for businesses operating on the continent. Panelists will also discuss current opportunities and challenges for both the public and private sectors in support of regional integration.
Ms. Florizelle Liser, President and CEO, Corporate Council on Africa
H.E. Marcel De Souza, President, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Honorable Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, Minister for Trade and Industry, Republic of Ghana
Dr. Benedict Oramah, President & CEO, AFREXIM Bank
Ms. Annette Mutaawe, Chief Strategy and Results Officer, TradeMark East Africa
Dr. Amany Asfour, Chairperson, COMESA Business Council
Honorable Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development, Republic of South Africa
About the U.S.-Africa Business Summit
The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) will convene business and government leaders at its 11th biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Washington, DC to discuss the challenges of doing business in Africa, proffer actionable solutions for businesses looking to seize opportunities, and begin to shape U.S.-Africa trade and investment policies. The theme for the 2017 U.S.-Africa Business Summit is The U.S. Stake in Africa: A Call for Greater Economic Engagement . This overarching theme is explored through three main topics on each day:
1. Navigating the African Market
2. Africa in a Globalizing Economy
3. Regional Integration and the Impact on Trade and Investment
Interested in regionalization in Africa? You are invited to register to attend.