CRIA Organizes Forum on Promoting African Regional Integration for National Development

14-12-2018

CRIA Organizes Forum on Promoting African Regional Integration for National Development

The Center for Regional Integration in Africa (CRIA) in collaboration with the  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration organized the 2018 Forum on Regional Integration for Promoting African Regional Integration for National Development through foreign service and trade. This event took place at the Accra International Conference Center on Wednesday, 12th December, 2018.

As the chairwoman for the forum, Mrs Mary Chiney-Hesse, Chair of the CRIA Board of Trustees and Chancellor of the University of Ghana mentioned that the forum was aimed at connecting those in policy making, private sector and civil society to the Ministry in order to have a system where Regional Integration exists and thus stressing on its importance in achieving accelerated integration and growth in Africa.

Professor SKB Asante, Executive Director for the CRIA said that Regional integration has been an agenda in African development especially in promoting trade for Africa. He further stressed that it should have been possible for Africa to trade internally but this has not been the case for a long time however, he lauded the Ghana Beyond Aid program describing it as an important initiative addressing such.

As a trade and investment expert with vast experience within ECOWAS and AU,  Honorable Fred Alupui, gave presentations on "The Negotiations and Future Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)". He clarified the various stages of regional integration pointing out that ECOWAS is gradually moving from Continental Free Trade Union to Continental Customs Union following the southern counterparts. He gave guidelines to negotiating trade in services and urged countries to listen to the interventions provided by their delegates and implored the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to use their bilateral powers to establish joint commissions in the various African countries and involve the private sector to better understand the benefits of intra-regional trade.

The forum closed with a working sessions on challenges and recommendations in Promoting Regional Integration. Other dignitaries present were the Senior Program Officer, African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for West and Central Africa; Mr Claude Sinzogan, the African Development Bank Manager for Regional Development and Regional Integration Department Mr Mamady Saoure, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana His Excellency Olufemi Michael Abikoye and His Excellency Charles Josob the Namibian High Commissioner to Ghana.

 

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