New York, NY (May 11, 2023) - The World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®) — an international trade organization connecting more than 300 World Trade Center® (WTC®) locations in nearly 100 countries —and World Trade Center (WTC) Accra have successfully concluded the 53rd annual WTCA General Assembly (GA) in Accra, Ghana. The five-day event, which took place April 23-27, brought together leaders and members of the global network of World Trade Center locations and their business networks — consisting of leaders from business, government, academia, media and international organizations — to hear insights from chief dignitaries representing Ghana, Namibia and the United States, and key experts; engage in roundtables and conversations; and explore new opportunities for growth and development across Africa. Themed “Towards African Economic Integration and Enhanced Global Presence,” the event built on the WTCA’s ongoing commitment to Africa.
The business gathering in Accra featured notable keynote speakers, panel discussions, and a series of networking events that focused on Africa’s unique trade and investment opportunity. H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, emphasized how Ghana is at the forefront to promote Africa’s potential to attract foreign investment, the Global Legal Entity Identification for businesses in Ghana, and the need for Africa to invest in innovative technology to advance its competitiveness in the global market. H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Secretariat, spoke passionately about the concrete steps Africa has taken towards economic integration including through the establishment of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), which ensures seamless trade between African countries using a digital payment system.
"With the outlook of demographic growth to double in the next 25 years, the opportunities are there in Africa. As the WTCA, we want to support this growth through our business network and positively affect wealth and prosperity to enhance peace and harmony on the Continent," said John E. Drew, Chair, Board of Directors of the WTCA. "With 15 World Trade Center licenses established across Africa — including a new location set to open in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — the WTCA is committed to promoting investment and trade opportunities throughout the Continent. There is a real desire for our network to do business there."
H.R.H. Togbe Afede XIV, Executive Chairman of WTC Accra, summarized with clarity the opportunities available throughout Africa stating that “we believe Africa can help solve some of the problems that the world is facing today, especially in food production and energy transition. With 20% of the world’s landmass and 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, we believe Africa is the answer to food security across the globe. We believe in the promise of Africa to move the world forward – the time to be in Africa is now.”
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) was a key event partner and sponsor represented by Emeka Uzomba, Senior Advisor, AfCFTA, Afreximbank, who discussed financing trade and strategic investments in Africa. In the Afreximbank sponsored "Deal Room," the Bank’s experts engaged with participants who conducted business meetings, and discussed transactions between African companies and global partners.
"We are thrilled to have partnered with the WTCA at this year’s GA to drive economic growth and development in Africa. Our collaboration will leverage the strengths of both organizations to support businesses in expanding operations and accessing new markets,” said Uzomba. “Together, we are committed to unlocking the full potential of African trade and investment, and creating opportunities for businesses to thrive.”
The WTCA continues to play a critical role in establishing interconnected business networks around the world, and now, through the efforts of this year’s GA, has launched its focus on supporting the growth of African economies. GA participants focused on forging business alliances with buyers, sellers and investors across multiple sectors in Africa, such as Agriculture; Agro-Tech, Food Processing; Manufacturing; Mining, Power and Energy; and Water, among others. These strategic collaborations promise to equip WTCA members and their business networks with avant-garde resources and know-how, thereby boosting growth and expansion endeavors in Africa.
“General Assembly attendees were able to appreciate, more than ever, the importance of what our Association does best — bringing people together from all over the world to understand the host country’s business environment and opportunities, and share our WTC businesses’ best practices with each other. Our Association allows us to discover business opportunities in various parts of the world and we can attest to Africa’s potential after attending this year’s GA in Accra. All these efforts and opportunities enhance the WTC brand’s awareness and value,” said Antony Georgakis, Head of Operations, WTC Cyprus.
“This event was a once in a lifetime opportunity — coming to Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, in Ghana, we need assistance to perfect packaging products that meet world standards and enter the world market, and also training so that what we do in Ghana can become internationally marketable. Ghana needs trade, not aid — we can do business with the world and we are waiting to work together,” said Diana Twum, a Ghanaian entrepreneur and GA B2B delegate.
The 2023 General Assembly concluded with a grand ceremonial announcement of next year’s host. The 54th annual WTCA GA is scheduled to take place in Bengaluru, India from March 3-6, 2024, and will be hosted by World Trade Center (WTC) Bengaluru.
World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)
Phone: +1 212 432 2644
Phone: +1 917 331 4855
About World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)
The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is a network of more than 300 highly connected, mutually supporting businesses and organizations in 92 countries. As the owner of the "World Trade Center" and "WTC" trademarks, the WTCA licenses exclusive rights to these brands for Members to use in conjunction with their independently-owned, iconic properties, facilities and trade services offerings. Through a robust portfolio of events, programming and resources that it offers its Members, the goal of the WTCA is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment across the globe through Member engagement. To learn more, visit www.wtca.org.
About World Trade Center (WTC) Accra
WTC Accra, currently located on the first floor of the magnificent World Trade Center building in Accra, is a doorway to a world of global trade opportunities for companies in Ghana and the West African sub-region, as well as a soft-landing pad for international commercial interests seeking to take advantage of exciting opportunities in Africa. We connect people, products and ideas from around the globe through our year-round calendar of international trade fairs, blockbuster consumer shows and prestigious international conferences, which are complemented by our innovative free zone and award-winning real estate developments. As the region’s largest purpose-built complex for events and exhibitions, we provide a platform for unparalleled business and networking opportunities. More details on WTC Accra can be found on their website, http://www.wtcaccra.com.