The African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, H.E. Albert Muchanga has stated that the July 7 launch of the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has created an exceptionally large market that offers enhanced opportunities for joint ventures with foreign companies looking for reliable partners in Africa. He encouraged investors to therefore move in, now that the market is operational, “to capitalize on first-mover advantages.”
Commissioner Muchanga made these remarks during his keynote address at the Africa Investment Meeting Roadshow held at the World Trade Center, Ronald Reagan Building, in Washington, DC on Tuesday October 1, 2019. He explained that the Continental Free Trade Area is favorable to foreign investors as follows.
“Now that AfCFTA is operational, companies that are able to produce to scale will be incentivized to start investing in Africa, and that will give them the capacity to be exporting to larger markets because they invested a lot of money. So, by aggregating, we are also promoting a large-scale investment, which can now produce at a larger scale, satisfy Africa, and export products to the rest of the world.” Commissioner Muchanga said.
Event Photo Album by George Bright – Afrikan Post
He also dispelled some international misperceptions and reiterated one of the agreement’s key merits. “The African Continental Free Trade Area is not closing Africa from the rest of the world – we are opening it to the rest of the world by creating the necessary capacity.” Before his keynote address, H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao introduced Commissioner Muchanga to the attendees and praised him for his exceptional vision and execution of the signature African Union initiative.
African nations launched the operational phase of the landmark free trade accord at the African Union Summit in Niamey, Niger on July 7, creating what leaders hope will be the world’s largest free trade area.
African Investment Meeting (AIM) Road Show is a signature event of WINVESTNET, an investment platform established in 1998, dedicated to Africa’s infrastructure & strategic projects In recent years, the Roadshow has stopped in Dakar, Beijing, Shanghai, and Casablanca, and has sourced and presented hundreds of viable projects to investors for funding.
Mr. Reda Rami Chairman & Founder of WINVESTNET presented information about his organization and the African Investment Marketplace – the vehicle through which WINVESTNET presents its viable and bankable projects to its pool of investors.
The Washington Roadshow was organized in partnership with AMDIE – Morocco’s Investment and Trade Agency in charge of promoting Morocco as a foreign investment destination, supporting Moroccan exporters and assisting Moroccan companies investing abroad.
A total of sixteen countries participated in the Washington, DC event with the goal of exploring funding opportunities for government infrastructure projects or identifying viable projects requiring funding. They are: Algeria, Benin, Chad, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Rwanda, Zambia, Switzerland, and the United States.
The Embassy of Zambia screened a short film to highlight the investment opportunities the country offers and Moroccan officials Ms. Nejma El Houda Bouamama and Mr. M’hamed Ben Mokhtar presented Morocco as a “Gateway to Africa” for American investors seeking to businesses with the entire continent. Mr. Gregory Simpkins, Senior Advisor, Africa Bureau USAID and Mr. Scott Ticknor, Senior Advisor to the President, Corporate Council on Africa represented their organizations at the event.
AIM Roadshow continues to Beijing on October 22.
Credit: Frederick Nnoma-Addison, Event Moderator