As part of its contribution to improving intra-Africa trade and investment, and continental integration, the World Trade Centre Accra has started rolling out a number of initiatives that will lead to the expansion of the World Trade Centre concept across Africa and further promote intra-Africa trade and regional integration.
As part of these initiatives, World Trade Centre Accra (in Ghana, West Africa) has established a strategic partnership with the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Accra to promote trade and investment between Ghana and Zimbabwe (in southern Africa). In May 2018, WTC Accra undertook a trade and investment mission to Zimbabwe to explore investment opportunities in that country. The mission was led by Jane Reindorf-Attoh, Managing Director, WTC Accra and Togbe Afede XIV, the Executive Chairman, WTC, Accra and Board Member of World Trade Centre Association (WTCA). The delegation comprised of nine Ghanaian business executives and a UK business executive.
A follow-up mission took place in June 2018, led by Togbe Afede XIV and H.E. Pavelyn Tendai Musaka, the Zimbabwe High Commissioner to Ghana. This mission comprised of eight Chinese and three Ghanaian business executives, who went to discuss investment opportunities identified during the previous mission in key sectors such as power, mining, and financial services.
Togbe Afede XIV stressed the need to “expand intra-Africa trade to ensure the socio-economic development of the African Continent.” He encouraged African governments to consider having WTCs established in their capital cities to promote intra-African trade and investment.
In expressing his conviction, Dr. Michael Bimha, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, said, “The Government of Zimbabwe would work with the private sector to embrace the World Trade Centre concept to announce to the world that Zimbabwe is open for business.”
“We decided to come to Zimbabwe as a starting point in WTC Accra’s regional trade and investment drive”, said Ms. Riendorf-Attoh. She added that, “promoting trade and investment on the African continent is an imperative, especially with the coming into being of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement that was signed in March 2018 to create a single market that will cover more than 1.3 billion people with a combined GDP of more than US$3.4 trillion.”
The delegation visited the Zimbabwean Investment Authority (ZIA), the National Trade Development and Promotion Organization of Zimbabwe (ZimTrade), the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning, the Ministry of Mines of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), Pangoula Farm, Almin Metal Industries Limited, Gemore PLC, and several other companies in the private sector.
In July 2018, World Trade Centre Accra, in collaboration with Ghana’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Trade will hold a meeting with members of the Africa Diplomatic Corps in Ghana to discuss regional integration and the World Trade Centre concept.
In the coming months, World Trade Centre Accra will undertake a number of trade and investment missions to other African countries to promote the World Trade Centre concept as an important vehicle for intra-Africa trade and investment.